Circumcision and HIV AIDS
In African News… Zimbabwe has decided to fight the scourge of HIV AIDS by ensuring that their cabinet ministers are all circumcised. In fact they have quite the drive on circumcising men at the moment and according to this article are hoping to reach at least 5MIL people through their campaign.
Now I understand that there have been some studies on this since 2005 and the hypothesis was even featured on the National Geographic website. The scary thing I find is that people would actually sign up for a study like this. It’s like “OK people, we will chop little bits off you and expect you to go out and have unprotected sex and YES you have an excellent chance of contracting the AIDS virus. So who’s with us??” I can only assume that these people were paid huge amounts of money and like my Dad says if your family is starving you would do most everything to provide for them. But this is not the common cold we are discussing. It is HIV AIDS for Pete’s sake!
According to a fact sheet by the CDC in Feb 2008:
Compared with the dry external skin surface, the inner mucosa of the foreskin has less keratinization (deposition of fibrous protein), a higher density of target cells for HIV infection (Langerhans cells), and is more susceptible to HIV infection than other penile tissue in laboratory studies. The foreskin may also have greater susceptibility to traumatic epithelial disruptions (tears) during intercourse, providing a portal of entry for pathogens, including HIV. In addition, the microenvironment in the preputial sac between the unretracted foreskin and the glans penis may be conducive to viral survival.
So, I understand that the risk is reduced for circumcised men but why take the chance? Even I know the virus is spread by body fluids and clearly there are fluids involved in sexual intercourse. We should not allow people to think that circumcision is enough. Yes snipping bits off might help the man but if you are still having unprotected sex you are simply being irresponsible.
Please understand that due to my age this is a very uncomfortable subject but some things just need to be said.
Condoms people condoms!