New Circumcision Study Comes Out to Stir More Debate

This Just In 119

scalpelI'm going to attempt to not offend those who circumcise or those who do not. I'm probably not going to succeed. But a new study on circumcision has come out and it has me thinking. The study looked at why circumcision reduces a man's risk of getting HIV by at least half. It was known it did before, but the exact reason why wasn't concrete. This new information supports the thought that by removing the foreskin, bacteria cannot build up and compromise the immune system, making some more susceptible to contract HIV. 

I still don't think this is a good argument to say all men should be circumcised.

Being circumcised doesn't protect you from getting HIV. Sure it reduces the chance. But there are a lot of things in this world that we all do every day that could reduce our chances of something bad. Take flying. If we never fly in a plane, we will never die in an airplane. If we do, there is a chance of that plane crashing to the ground. A small chance, yes, but still a chance. That's sort of how I see this.

But I'm also the kind of mom very concerned about Gardasil and am not planning on giving my daughter the HPV vaccine. The side effects are too worrisome.

This circumcision study's leader Dr. Cindy Liu and co-author Lance Price, a professor of environmental health sciences at George Washington University in Washington spoke to the LA Times. They said:

Of particular note is that circumcision undercuts anaerobic bacteria, the microbes that thrive in oxygen-deprived environments. By reducing the number of anaerobic bacteria, the body's immune cells may be better able to destroy the virus. 

There were 156 Ugandan men ages 15 to 49 who took part in this study -- half were circumcised, the other half were not. In Uganda, 1 in 6 people are infected with HIV and more needs to be done to bring those numbers down all over the world. But I think a lot of it is education. The men who were circumcised had an 81 percent reduction in bacteria. That's excellent. But interestingly, all of the men in this study were given information on how to properly keep up with health and hygiene and that alone showed a 33 percent decrease in bacteria for the uncircumcised men. Education is key.

Which leads me to think of us in a modern world. These types of studies don't exactly apply to us. And I feel the information shouldn't be used against parents who choose not to circumcise their sons.

What do you think? Does this change your mind about circumcision?


Image via OptoScalpel/Flickr

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katie... katiesing

I honestly dont see the point in cutting of a infants forskin. Condoms are there for a reason if a man isnt going to use a condom intact or not he in my opinion is risking getting aids. Cutting off the skin should not be used a precation.

tuffy... tuffymama

Uh, UGANDA? Sorry, but it really is a different world from here. For one thing, hygiene in general is not high on the priority list as it is here. Second, AIDS is more rampant and a bigger killer in Africa than here. Third, there are cultural mores tied to circumcision there that may well affect type and number of partners in a way that it doesn't here. Who FUNDED this study?

lovem... lovemyson1224

It isn't just about HIV. Circumcision also protects against UTI's and penile cancer. It is a parents choice to decide what is best for their son. There are valid reasons for and against it. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1477524/

lobus lobus

I get uti's all the time should I cut my clit off? And the penile cancer is a joke. Penile cancer is miniscule in the realm of cancers. By your logic I should cut my tits off too...

Jilectan Jilectan

I haven't seen any studies that have changed my mind. I have not and will not circumcise my son. He's 8, going on 9, and hasn't had any problems.

Rhond... RhondaVeggie

Teach your son to bathe properly or risk his life and cut off a large piece of his penis. Hmm, that's a tough decision.

nonmember avatar dana

Lmfao. I loooove when people compare male circumcision to female castration. LOVE it. I'm going to start comparing doing the dishes to washing all of the cars in a 5 mile radius. Hey. There's washing involved. Same thing. And it's usually the people against Circumcision that are weird and confrontational about. It's a shame, because it's not swaying people to not do it. I wish that people arguing against it would be less weird about it, so we could get more people against it and educated. No one wants to listen to an angry loon.

Knitt... KnittyTina

When I was pregnant with my son, I thought we would go ahead and get him circumcised because it was "the thing to do" as I thought.  My husband was horrified and  apparently he had done a lot of research on the topic and we had a real sit down conversation.  When I heard his viewpoints, I changed my mind and no longer pushed to have our son cut.  So glad we didn't.  His main point was that it was supposed to be there and he had never heard of anyone getting "dick rot" as he put it.  Plus in this modern day and time, IF the penis does become infected, can't our son go see a doctor and get the situation under control?  I get yeast infections from time to time and no one has ever mentioned cutting off parts of my vagina. 

EmmaF... EmmaFromEire

Did you legit just suggest ugandan people aren't bothered about hygiene? The terms rude, judgemental and idiot spring to mind. It's in africa so it MUST be dirty.

lobus lobus

Yah Dana lolololz cause cutting off sensitive portions of a sexual organ on a man is not.at all comparable when you do the same thing to a woman.

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