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Circumcision is no protection against hiv with anal sex

by Editorial Staff in Health & Body , 08 November 2009

Dit artikel is ook in het Nederlands beschikbaar

Circumcision might protect heterosexual men in Africa from contracting hiv, for gay men unfortunately, it offers no protection. This is the conclusion of a research in the US on the effects of circumcision of gay men, which was presented at the annual hiv convention in Atlanta. Dr. Peter Klimarx of the Centre of Disease Control (CDC) said that ‘circumcision has no effect in preventing hiv to spread through anal sex.’

The CDC is considering recommending circumcision however for other groups, like baby boys and straight men in high-risk groups.

UNAIDS and other international health organizations promote circumcision as an important way of preventing hiv to spread. According to these organizations circumcision reduces the chances on infection with sixty percent. They drive their stand from experiments done in Uganda, Kenya and South Africa. The foreskin tissue is apparently especially sensitive for hiv infections.

The WHO and UNAIDS lobby to make circumcision easier and cheaper in Africa. Simultaneously they warn however, that circumcision is by far not enough protection against the aids virus and so they also promote the use of condoms.

In the US over 80% of the men are circumcised, much more than anywhere else. Worldwide about 30% of all men are cut. In Africa most infections take place through straight sex, but in the US it’s mainly gay men that contract the virus. Gays take up about 4% of the population, according to the CDC, but they make up for over half of the new infections every year.

“Circumcision is a sensitive subject, charged with cultural and religious meaning, especially when it concerns babies,” admits Klimarx. People opposed circumcision demonstrated outside the hiv conference centre with a billboard saying: ‘tell the CDC that circumcising babies doesn’t prevent hiv.’

According to the chairman of Intact America, a group opposed to circumcision, the removal of healthy, functioning, sexual and protecting tissue with someone who hasn’t asked for it is called mutilation.


In our youngest issue, Gay News 344, April/ May/ June/ July 2020



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