New York City Makes the Cut to Fight AIDS

Red Orbit News,
NYC Eyes Circumcision Push to Fight AIDS

NEW YORK - City health officials are considering a program to urge circumcision for men at high risk of AIDS, noting studies that the procedure can reduce the chances of getting the disease.

The city Department of Health and Mental Hygiene has sought feedback from gay rights groups and community organizations, and it approached the agency that runs city hospitals and health clinics about possibly offering the procedure for free to men without health insurance, the New York Times reported in Thursday editions.
U.N. health agencies last week recommended circumcision for heterosexual men after three studies in Africa found that the procedure reduced men's chances of contracting HIV by up to 60 percent.
About 65 percent of all male babies in the United States are circumcised, according to the National Center for Health Statistics. Worldwide, about 30 percent of men are, the World Health Organization estimates.

It has long been noted that nuns and Jewish women have extremely low incidences of cervical cancer. The one thing they have in common? They do not have sex with uncircumcised men and consequently it was thought that circumcision prevents the occurrence of the carcinoma in Jewish women. However, recent studies no longer consider it to play a protective role although the dispute over the association of circumcision and cervical cancer in various populations is still ongoing.

But what is not in dispute are DNA studies, starting in the 1980s, that the HPV infection is a risk factor for cervical cancer. I should note that other risk factors include malnutrition, smoking, use of oral contraceptives, sexual behavior, infection with sexually transmitted diseases, having a husband whose previous wife had cervical cancer, a husband who has penile cancer, or a husband with genital warts. Of course, Jewish men, all of whom are circumcised, are less likely to have most of these problems which may again explain the low incidence of cervical cancer in Jewish women.

Let me put this in bold:

Later research further confirmed the role of HPV in cervical cancer. Walboomers et al. now state that HPV is found in 99.7 percent of cervical cancers, and HPV infection is seen to be a necessary condition for the development of cervical cancer. Some researchers believe that another factor, in addition to HPV infection, is required to start the cancer process. Smoking is one such factor.

So I am not one that finds government intrusion in this matter as evil. Indeed, here is good news for all females in Virginia:

All Headline News,
Virginia Becomes First State To Mandate HPV Vaccine For Young Girls

Richmond, VA (AHN) - Virginia has become the first state to require young girls be vaccinated against the human papillomavirus (HPV) after the General Assembly passed an amended bill returned to it by the Governor.

Governor Tim Kaine asked that the law, which would add an HPV vaccine to the list of mandatory vaccinations a young girl needs to receive when attending public school in Virginia, also include a clause for informed parents to decline the vaccination.

It is unfortunate that parental consent was added to the bill. If parental consent were required when Polio vaccines first came out, Polio would still be a major threat to our population. Parents are not doctors and medical advice should not be sought from them. We all know that the only reason parents will not give consent is that they erroneously believe that the vaccine will make their young children go out and have indiscriminate sex which is, of course, ludicrous.

a protest against circumcision going on on the lawn of the capitol
yeah seriously
Flickr User: deni7.
There are still people who believe that circumcision does not offer any medical benefits despite all the evidence as this photo of a recent demonstration in Washington DC shows. They need to read:

Male circumcision shows promise as defense against HIV transmission

Two major studies of male circumcision in Africa have found that the simple surgical procedure reduces the risk of HIV infection by half -- a hugely important result that is likely to prompt many African nations hard hit by AIDS to promote it as a means to control the epidemic.

Circumcision cuts STD risk, major study shows

25-year study finds substantial benefit to controversial procedure

Updated: 4:56 p.m. ET Nov 6, 2006

Circumcised males are less likely than their uncircumcised peers to acquire a sexually transmitted infection, the findings of a 25-year study suggest.

According to the report in the November issue of Pediatrics, circumcision may reduce the risk of acquiring and spreading such infections by up to 50 percent, which suggests "substantial benefits" for routine neonatal circumcision.

Public Library of Science,
Potential Impact of Male Circumcision on HIV in Sub-Saharan Africa

A randomized controlled trial (RCT) has shown that male circumcision (MC) reduces sexual transmission of HIV from women to men by 60% (32%−76%; 95% CI) offering an intervention of proven efficacy for reducing the sexual spread of HIV. We explore the implications of this finding for the promotion of MC as a public health intervention to control HIV in sub-Saharan Africa.

It is also interesting to note that AIDS in Africa is least prevalent among Muslim populations. Muslims have a three-fold advantage: almost all are circumcised, they engage in ritual washing before sex, and none of them are taught by Christians that Condoms may even be one of the main reasons for the spread of HIV/AIDS. There is some AIDS among Muslims, though, but I attribute this to the fact that when Muslims rape Christian women they are most likely not wearing condoms nor do they wash beforehand.

Here's another article linking circumcision as a prophylactic against infecting one's female partner with HPV which in turn is present in almost all cervical cancers.

Circumcision reduces cancer risk

Male circumcision is probably one of the oldest and most common surgical procedure. Globally, for various reasons, about one in four men is circumcised. It seems that this procedure reduces the risk of contracting penile human papillomavirus (HPV) infections which could thereby also reduce the risk of cervical cancer in the female partner. Circumcision, particularly in childhood, is a minor operation in which the foreskin on the penis is surgically removed.

HPV causes genital warts in men and women and has been linked to cancers of the cervix, vulva, vagina, anus and penis. To investigate whether male circumcision might reduce the risk of HPV in both men and women, researchers at the Hospitalet de Llobregat in Barcelona, Spain, and an international team of researchers evaluated the prevalence of HPV infection in more than 1,900 couples living in five different countries.

In 2006, the First Annual National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day took place in the United States.
In 2006, the First Annual National Women and
Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day took place in
the United States.
Photo: US Dept of Health and Human Services
And yes, I've read about the study that suggests a woman's risk of contracting AIDS from an infected man may be greater if that man is circumcised, however one must read the small print:

How Stuff Works,
Does male circumcision up the risk of male-to-female HIV transmission?

But there's a major caveat here: The researchers believe that the circumcised men may have had sex with their partner before their wound was fully healed. It takes about a month for a circumcision wound to heal, and while the couples were warned not to have intercourse until a doctor declared it safe -- and were counseled to always use condoms -- it appears that some of the couples didn't follow at least the condom recommendation. So the researchers are wondering if those couples didn't end up following "wait until it heals" recommendation, either. It's natural that having intercourse before the wound were fully healed would increase the risk of transmission. HIV is carried in blood, not just semen, and an unhealed wound on the tip of the penis is very likely to tear during sex.

It's worth noting that another, smaller study is reporting different results. Researchers are examining the medical records of 300 couples in Uganda to find out how circumcision affects AIDS transmission between partners. So far, with another year to go before the research is done, this study reports that a woman is 30 percent less likely to contract HIV from an infected man if that man is circumcised.

You may ask why African men who already have HIV are getting circumcised since it is a tad bit late for protection: They are not getting circumcised to protect themselves but rather are participating in a study to see if it helps in preventing the spread to the female. I suppose if you cannot stop HIV positive men from having sex, it would be good to know if circumcision helps reduce the spread of the disease.,
Scientists found vaccine to prevent cervical cancer

12:25 2005-10-07 A vaccine that targets a human wart virus completely prevented early-stage cervical cancer and precancerous lesions in women caused by the two most common forms of the virus, the maker Merck & Co has said.

Malaysia is also considering the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) recommendation for male circumcision to reduce the risk of HIV infection.

### End of my article ###

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