liveonearth (liveonearth) wrote,

Circumcision Increasing in Africa, Decreasing in America

I've been hearing a lot about circumcision lately. This morning I hear that the CDC has determined that circumcision reduces a man's chance of contracting HIV by 60%! This is news to me. I even have it in me to doubt it, having not heard it until just now after so much previous noise about the question. I suspect the mechanism of resistance to the virus has to do with the thickening of the skin on the glans when it is exposed all the time, as versus the thin-ness of such skin, more like a mucous membrane, when it is permanently covered. One kind in Africa has issued an edict that all men must be circumcised, and young Zulu men are getting cut as a rite of manhood. Cultural change is in progress in Africa.

Anyway, other mentions include a pack of people in San Francisco who tried to get a law passed BANNING circumcision as male genital mutilation. They didn't get very far, but they did get a lot of attention. And also, in pediatrics class I heard that here on the West Coast 60% of new baby boys are NOT being circumcised, and that number is increasing. The pediatrician's perspective is that we will have a generation of men for whom either circ or non-circ is accepttable, and then the next generation will probably be almost entirely noncircumcised. Cultural change is in progress in America, but in the opposite direction from Africa...
Tags: africa, america, culture, genitalia, hiv/aids, men, public health

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