Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Circumcision: Cuts AIDs Transmission by 50%

How very politically incorrect! I wonder if circumcision, like the Hep B immunization, will be state-mandated? (You get Hepatitis B through I.V. drug use and sexual promiscuity.) Somehow I doubt it, what with the touchy-feely types hew and cry about male genital mutilation.

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

I don't really have a good understanding how this is possible. How can cutting the skin on the penis back help reduce Aids?

Can you explain that?

Dr. Melissa said...

Here's my guess: Funky junk stays inside the foreskin of an uncircumcised male, no matter how clean he tries to be. If he has sex with more than one woman, or men and women, he'll pass along the junk from one to another.

That is a very efficient way of transmitting disease. Kinda like a bee carrying pollen.

Anonymous said...

gross! Thanks for explaining!

Christy're said...

I'm gonna have a real problem with it if they try to mandate this one!

You know what also helps to prevent AIDS? Moral, drug-free behavior--or condom usage--or monogamy. I'd rather teach my kids those values than remove a part of their bodies.

Anonymous said...

About HIV and circumcision: It is not merely a mechanical phenomena, but instead there are cells on the foreskin that entrap the virus and draw it into the body. This is apparently useful for dealing with many foreign bodies, but it's not good for HIV.

About Hepatitis B: It is not merely "drug use and sexual promiscuity" that can spread it. In Australia, we are now moving to vaccinate children as part of their normal course of shots and it has long been standard practice for police officers and dentists to be compulsorily vaccinated.

It is _VERY_ easily transmitted, say by saliva. Kissing or giving someone mouth-to-mouth resucitation is sufficient to transmit the infection. There have also been cases of it being spread through seafood such as oysters that have been contaminated with sewage outfall.

Ellen.

Dr. Melissa said...

Ellen,

In the U.S. newborns are given the Hep B vaccine. It's never been tested on children, forget infants. Yes, Hep B is very transmissable. But it's found only among certain populations just like HIV. And I wouldn't mandate an HIV vaccine either (for a baby).

People in high risk positions should be vaccinated.

And no one should eat oysters. They are completely unhealthy.

Christy're,
On the eighth day, a baby boy's body produces clotting factors and a child is numbed in the area. Circumcision is a healthy long-term procedure for boys.

Matthew said...

Seriously, go for the jugular on this one... Maybe there was a reason God directed the Israelites to circumsize all of their male infants on the 8th day!

The drug use and promiscuity definitely should stop, but that would come too, if people would just follow the guidelines found in scripture, but whatever. We will just find another vaccine that will keep us from getting HIV, but will cause our kids to have the IQ of Forrest Gump.

Anonymous said...

Not to mention that being circumcised
is also much cleaner. Also something to consider which I never realized until I was well into my adult years.
A friend was married to a man who was never circumcised and it absolutely grossed her out. A circumcised penis is much nicer to look at and to handle aside from being cleaner. Just being practicle!

Anonymous said...

"A circumcised penis is much nicer to look at and to handle aside from being cleaner. Just being practicle!"

Yeah cause that isn't socially conditioned.

Dr. Melissa said...

Humans are conditioned socially to find some things more appealling than others. So people used to an uncircumcised penis probably prefer that to a circumcised one.

As far as the health issues, there is no question that a circumcised penis is easier to clean and is less likely to transmit viri and bacterii. Like any surgical procedure, you want the person performing it to know what the heck they're doing.

Our son was circumcised on the eighth day by a Jewish MD certified to do this procedure both medically and rabbinically. The Rabbinical part was neither here nor there for me since I'm not Jewish, but I figured going to a doc who infused the procedure with spiritual meaning would be very careful and loving. And, he was.

kman said...

ditto for my two sons... they were both circumcised by someone trained to be a moire or something like that. I'm not fluent on the Jewish training since I really don't care about the religious aspects. But this person does LOTS of circumcisions and both circumcisions were flawless.

My nephew... not so much... they went to a doctor at the hospital and he didn't really know what he was doing. Maybe doing a circumcision on the 23rd hour of your shift isn't such a great idea.

darin maclachlan said...

A woman's opinion on circumcision is equal to a man's on abortion. Secondly, the circumcised infant does not have a choice in the matter.
Thirdly, if NATURE/ GOD or whatever truly wanted all males circumcised, then by intelligent design, males would be. They are not.
Circumcision is a cultural/religious relic.

Dr. Melissa said...

Darin,

1) Abortions shouldn't be a "choice" either. And, I'm a woman, so I guess my opinion counts. A man isn't allowed an opinion at all? Or is he only allowed an opinion if he agrees with abortion?

2) Children also don't have a choice about whether their parents immunize them. They don't have a choice about surgeries (any kind). They don't have a choice about dinner. This is a stupid argument. And if you equate male circumcision to female "circumcision" (clitorectomy which would be akin to lopping off the penis, but I digress) you get a virtual smack on the head.

3) You may view circumcision as a "cultural/religious relic", but you're choosing to ignore the very current science on the matter. And if you're concerned about stopping the spread of the scourge of our modern era, I would think you'd be a little more inclined to entertain this little procedure from a rational point of view.

Of course, there's always abstinence. 100% safe then.

michael i said...

"A virtual smack on the head", eh? Here, whack yourself virtually for me too "doctor" 'cause you're displaying such whopping ignorance about genital mutilation practices. Tsk, tsk. You're MScharacterizing what you're calling "female circumcision"; the truth is that it comes in various forms - most of which are not as extreme as you describe. In contrast you are too casual about the genital mutilation of males; there are some
extreme practices of this and were they all lumped together as "male circumcision" you'd have a tough time with your females-are-bigger-victims/foreskins-are-disposable (like men) crusade. Sheesh!

The excuses used for the practice of male genital mutilation in America have changed with each generation. When one is discredited, the boy-haters invent another one. The latest is the prevents-AIDS claim, bolstered by studies in Africa that ignore the cultural, religious, and economic differences between populations that practice male genital mutilation and those which do not. (Clue: The latter have more access to sanitation, enjoy higher living standards, and are less sexually promiscuous. Do the science. Stop guessing.)

Anonymous said...

Here are some other interesting links that I've found.

Std transmission is cut in half by circumcision:
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/15593753/
http://www.consumeraffairs.com/news04/fishman/2006/circumcision.html
Here is an excellent link that highlights the benefits in preventing aids from circumcision
http://www.kaisernetwork.org/health_cast/hcast_index.cfm?display=detail&hc=1802
and this is another good link:
http://loveandhealth.worldgroups.com/Article.cfm?Topic=2&SubTopic=30&Article=171

It only makes sense that if the head of the penis is exposed it will stay cleaner, resulting in fewer infections, less cancer, and less STD's. Its like vacination, it won't just help keep your boy safe, but should help keep everyone he might be intimate with safe.

I've done a lot of research on this so if you need any info let me know.
Lots of love,
Sara
sarr115@hotmail.com

Dr. Melissa said...

A reader emailed and asked if circumcision is a service I provide. Um, no. It's out of a Chiropractor's scope of practice.

Even if it were included, my energies would probably be focused elsewhere. I'm a big fan of a male doctor doing this procedure. Men are very protective of their nether regions, for good reason. Let them take care of it.