Sunday, February 25, 2007

Circumcising Africa

A new study out of Africa shows that male circumcision can reduce AIDS transmission by 50 to 60%. Already people are using the same language they used with regard to global warming--the debate is over; the facts are in; it's time to quit talking about the problem and do something about it.

Well, what they want to do is cut off 40% of the male nerve endings, even as they impose unimaginable trauma on newborn boys. Rather than going around trying to circumcise every man in Africa, they could do a lot better if they just convinced African males to take showers every day. It seems to me their study focused on precisely the wrong thing. If they really want to stop AIDS, they should study the difference in transmission rates between those who wash their genitals daily and those who think it doesn't matter. I don't know what's wrong with their thinking. Maybe they suppose if you just circumcise a guy then you don't have the bother with him ever again, whereas you have to continually remind people to wash everyday.

I wonder if the doctors who did their study had an ideological preference for circumcision over me simpler or less intrusive strategies. I'm just a writer, talking as usual off the top of his head, but it seems to me that soap and water have solved more health problems than any number of crazed surgeons with wicked gleams in their eyes.

1 comment:

Paul Ciotti said...

Circumcizing Africa? Wasn't it Magellen who circumcised the world?

About Me

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Eagle Rock (Los Angeles), California, United States
I write articles, columns, books, very occasional screenplays and make amateur videos. I also maintain a dozen or so blog sites, some better than others.