Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Circumcision: required for all males now?

Circumcision may offer Africa AIDS hope / Procedure linked to much lower rate of new HIV infections

A year ago a study reported a 6 fold protective effect of circumcision. Now another study demonstrates about a 70% risk reduction.

I did infant circumcisions in the days before use of any local anesthesia. I hated doing them and always tried to persuade mothers (they made the decisions) that it was a peculiar American custom with minimal medical benefit and lots of pain. (As far as I know the US is the only industrialized country which practices circumcision for non-religious cultural reasons.)

Looks like I was wrong. Not the first time. If this really holds up we have a miraculously effective way to stop HIV. Nobel prizes all around!

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