Could Circumcision Save the World?

Michele Zipp

taraklamp circumcisionBaby boys are circumcised every day, but intactivism is growing. One of the arguments against circumcision on newborns is that they don't have a voice -- they cannot decide for themselves if they want the procedure to be done or not. And some men actually miss their foreskin, wishing their parents didn't subject them to a nip.

No matter where you stand on infant circumcision, where do you stand on circumcisions performed on grown men to save lives? One small problem, though. It is putting lives in danger as well.

In an effort to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS in South Africa where 5.7 million people have AIDS -- the largest concentration of people living with this disease in the world -- circumcisions are being done on adults with a device called the TaraKLamp. The TaraKLamp has been used since April to circumcise about 9,000 men. It has been shown that circumcision, plus the use of condoms, reduces the risk of contracting AIDS by 60 percent.

But the government is having second thoughts about the safety of the TaraKLamp, plus it is causing excruciating and unnecessary pain. The method has a greater risk of harm than the traditional use of forceps.

Wondering how it works?

The TaraKLamp clamps down on the foreskin, cutting off blood supply. The foreskin is supposed to die and fall off along with the clamp a week to ten days later. That doesn't always happen and sometimes surgery must be performed to remove the clamp and foreskin.

Are you crossing your legs and squirming yet?

Some even feel the single-use only gadget is a money-making scheme. I find it all incredibly sad. Why are people refusing to see the risk of death from AIDS and taking better measures to protect themselves without having part of their genitals removed? Isn't the money better spent on education?

The South African government is stopping the distribution of the device, but the director of one medical division says that the "clamp is as good as any other method" and will be continued to be used. In October, he received a stockpile of 22,500 TaraKLamps.

Could circumcision save the world? What do intactivists have to say about this?


Image via TaraKLamp

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