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HIV And Circumcision: The Evidence is Finally Adding Up
#1
I have posted in more than one forum in the past about Africa's terrible outbreak of HIV and the relationship that circumcision, or the lack of it, has to do with the amount of it on that continent. This has been reported on for a few years, but contrarians have ripped it to pieces as not being substantiated despite the evidence.

Well the latest information is in and Circumcision may offer Africa AIDS hope: Procedure linked to much lower rate of new HIV infections.
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French and South African AIDS researchers have called an early halt to a study of adult male circumcision to reduce HIV infection after initial results reportedly showed that men who had the procedure dramatically lowered their risk of contracting the virus.

The study's preliminary results, disclosed Tuesday by the Wall Street Journal, showed that circumcision reduced the risk of contracting HIV by 70 percent -- a level of protection far better than the 30 percent risk reduction set as a target for an AIDS vaccine.

According to the newspaper account, the study under way in Orange Farm township, South Africa, was stopped because the results were so favorable. It was deemed unethical to continue the trial after an early peek at data showed that the uncircumcised men were so much more likely to become infected.

All of the men in the study had been followed for a year, and half the men had been followed for the full 21 months called for in the original study design, according to the Wall Street Journal, which obtained a draft copy of the study.

Begun in August 2002, the experiment is one of three closely watched clinical trials in Africa to determine whether there is scientific merit to nearly three dozen less rigorously controlled studies showing that circumcised men were much less likely to become HIV-positive.

The hope is that, lacking a vaccine, the nearly 5 million new HIV infections occurring each year could be slowed by circumcision, the surgical removal of the foreskin -- a simple, low-cost and permanent medical intervention that is a common but controversial cultural practice in much of the world. In Africa, about 70 percent of men are circumcised at birth or during rite-of-passage ceremonies in early puberty.

Medical anthropologists began noticing as early as 1989 that the highest rates of HIV infection in Africa were occurring in regions of the continent where the predominant tribal or religious cultures did not practice circumcision. Adult HIV infection rates above 30 percent are found in Zimbabwe, Botswana, Swaziland and eastern South Africa, where circumcision is not practiced; yet HIV infection rates remain below 5 percent in West Africa and other parts of the continent where circumcision is commonplace.

Laboratory studies have found that the foreskin is rich in white blood cells, which are favored targets of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. So the theory is that men who are uncircumcised are much more likely to contract the virus during sex with an infected woman, and that the epidemic spreads when these newly infected men have sex with other women within their network of sexual partners.

The lead investigators of the study, Dr. Bertran Auvert of the University of Paris and Adrian Puren of South Africa's National Institute for Communicable Diseases, are not talking. The results were expected to be discussed at an AIDS conference in Rio de Janeiro in three weeks. But word about the findings has been circulating among researchers searching for ways to slow the epidemic.

"I would be thrilled if it works, but we will also need the results of other trials,'' said Johns Hopkins University epidemiologist Ronald Gray, who is conducting, in Uganda, one of two other controlled clinical trials of male circumcision.

Gray's trial, which has completed enrollment of 5,000 men in the Rakai district of Uganda, is not scheduled to end until 2007.

A third trial, under way in Kisumu, Kenya, is still enrolling its quota of 2,700 volunteers and is also expected to be completed in 2007, according to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, which is sponsoring it.

All three trials were designed to compare the HIV infection rates of two groups of HIV-negative men, one-half of whom would agree to be circumcised, the other to be offered only counseling on AIDS prevention. The studies were designed to show whether or not circumcision provided a statistically significant protective effect of at least 50 percent.

The South African study -- if the results are confirmed -- suggests that the level of protection afforded is even higher.

Although the apparent protective effect of circumcision has been noted for more than 20 years, doubts linger as to whether circumcision itself is protective, or whether the lower risk may be the result of cultural practices among those who circumcise. HIV rates are low in Muslim communities, for example, which practice male circumcision but also engage in ritual washing before sex and frown on promiscuity.

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It would be interesting to see what Dr. Dean Adel will have to say about this? He has been adamently opposed to the practice for years, yet the ocassional times I have listened to his radio program, he never seems to mention this.
___________________________________________________________________________________________________
"INSIDE EVERY PROGRESSIVE IS A TOTALITARIAN SCREAMING TO GET OUT" - David Horowitz

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#2
Quote:that's sounds like a kooky conspiracy theory to me.

No, it is entirely logical, and not very deep.

*Partial* circumcision as discussed in the article would offer partial protection, and *Full* will offer full protection.
Sodomia delenda est

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#3
It has nothing to do with medicine IMO.
It's simply because tribes that practice circumcision are more religious, thus stricter with sexuality.
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#4
Fredledingue Wrote:It has nothing to do with medicine IMO.
It's simply because tribes that practice circumcision are more religious, thus stricter with sexuality.

I don't agree. Certain portions of the foreskin aparantly allow the virus to enter the bloodstream, by acting as a hiding place for the virus to dwell and penetrate the skin.

I am convinced that there is much more to this than meets the eye. I'd like to see a detailed study by the medical profession done in America and Europe that takes HIV infected males and does a graph of those circumcised verses those not circumcised. I would think Europe would be worth investigating as the continent has pretty much quit performing circumcision.

I think it would be interesting.
___________________________________________________________________________________________________
"INSIDE EVERY PROGRESSIVE IS A TOTALITARIAN SCREAMING TO GET OUT" - David Horowitz

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#5
It seems that God gave an advantage to the descendants of Abraham by giving him the covenant of circumcision. Jews and Arabs--both descended from Abraham--seem favored by this healthful practice, as well as by traditions of moderation and avoidance of "unclean" foods (which turn out to be classes of animals that especially concentrate impurities and toxins in the environment, as well as having larger amounts of the wrong kind of cholesterol, and more diseases that humans can contract.)

One thing bothers me about circumcision, though--if it is more healthful to be circumcised, why did God design human males with foreskins in the first place?

I suppose it could be argued that God did not originally design that there should be any kind of disease--all that has resulted from "the curses on the land" that came about because of sin, which prompted God to back off and exercise less control, allowing all species on earth to become contaminated with "lethal genes," and to allow such things as viruses and prions to run rampant. I have a theory that when the Bible says God cursed the land, what actually happened was there was a flare-up of natural radioactivity, either in the earth's crust, or by cosmic ray bombardment, or both--and this resulted in immediate, large-scale, harmful mutations in every species.
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#6
Ron Lambert Wrote:It seems that God gave an advantage to the descendants of Abraham by giving him the covenant of circumcision. Jews and Arabs--both descended from Abraham--seem favored by this healthful practice, as well as by traditions of moderation and avoidance of "unclean" foods (which turn out to be classes of animals that especially concentrate impurities and toxins in the environment, as well as having larger amounts of the wrong kind of cholesterol, and more diseases that humans can contract.)

And some say religion is stupid....oh well, they are God's chosen people..

At any rate - is it common, and nearly standard policy, for males to be circumcised in the US? I am guessing for most men, they have had it done, however, I do not know if its a policy, etc.

Imagine bringing up the subject of circumcision at the next WHO conference or AIDS rackeetering sham. :lol: :lol:
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#7
Quote:One thing bothers me about circumcision, though--if it is more healthful to be circumcised, why did God design human males with foreskins in the first place?

To be able to provide a reward for following the covenant?

Related questions: why did God infect pigs with trichinosis? why did God create snakes? why did God create liberals? why did God create Satan? who created whom?
Sodomia delenda est

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#8
mv Wrote:why did God create create snakes? why did God create liberals?

Snakes make good hatbands and boots.

Liberals are punishment for our sins. When the forbidden fruit was eaten, it was stealing, and therefore its somehow linked to we shall forever be stolen from in the form of taxes, which liberals like to make more of, as our punishment.

Back to the topic however...
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#9
Ron Wrote:One thing bothers me about circumcision, though--if it is more healthful to be circumcised, why did God design human males with foreskins in the first place?

Looking at this anthropologically, I would say that since man has been running around naked for about 95% of our existence, having a foreskin that covers the head of the penis would be a distinct advantage when moving through the underbrush, or having to fight an animal with claws. Shock Shock
___________________________________________________________________________________________________
"INSIDE EVERY PROGRESSIVE IS A TOTALITARIAN SCREAMING TO GET OUT" - David Horowitz

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#10
John L Wrote:
Ron Wrote:One thing bothers me about circumcision, though--if it is more healthful to be circumcised, why did God design human males with foreskins in the first place?

Looking at this anthropologically, I would say that since man has been running around naked for about 95% of our existence, having a foreskin that covers the head of the penis would be a distinct advantage when moving through the underbrush, or having to fight an animal with claws. Shock Shock
Weak and too mechanistic. Iit could be an unintended side effect of labia covering the clitoris that grows into penis as the differentiation of an embryo into male begins, for example. Or something else entirely. Nature seems not to be terribly concerned with perfection: if something works, it stays.
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#11
MV asked:

Quote:why did God create snakes? why did God create liberals?

Aren't those questions redundant? :twisted:
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#12
Ron Lambert Wrote:MV asked:

Quote:why did God create snakes? why did God create liberals?

Aren't those questions redundant? :twisted:

No, there are deep differences between these two categories.

Snakes can be pretty, friendly, and good for something.
Sodomia delenda est

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#13
I give that last post 5 :lol: 's out of 5

:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:
DavidR
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#14
I suspect that was a recycled lawyer joke.

Liberals, of course, avoid stepping on snakes as a matter of professional courtesy.
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#15
why is it every time someone starts talking about removing parts of the penis, the topic inevitably moves to Liberals?
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#16
ghoullio Wrote:why is it every time someone starts talking about removing parts of the penis, the topic inevitably moves to Liberals?

ROFLMAO :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:
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#17
BBC news Health - Circumcision helps to halt AIDS

Now even the BBC is coming out with it.
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#18
I posted this elsewhere; nothing has changed so will include the text verbatim:

A Medline search revealed only a few studies on this topic, and I understand that the US Dept. of Health is currently in the process of conducting a study in the Congo. Those results are expected to be released in 2007.

Following is the text of the Abstract of a study published last year in the respected journal Lancet:

1: Lancet. 2004 Mar 27;363(9414):1039-40.

Comment in:
Lancet. 2004 Jun 12;363(9425):1997-8; author reply 1998-9.
Lancet. 2004 Jun 12;363(9425):1997; author reply 1998-9.
Lancet. 2004 Jun 12;363(9425):1998; author reply 1998-9.

Male circumcision and risk of HIV-1 and other sexually transmitted infections in
India.

Reynolds SJ, Shepherd ME, Risbud AR, Gangakhedkar RR, Brookmeyer RS, Divekar AD,
Mehendale SM, Bollinger RC.

Division of Infectious Diseases, Johns Hopkins University Medical School, Ross
1150, 720 Rutland Avenue, Baltimore, Maryland 21205, USA.

Circumcised men have a lower risk of HIV-1 infection than uncircumcised men.
Laboratory findings suggest that the foreskin is enriched with HIV-1 target
cells. However, some data suggest that circumcision could simply be a marker for
low-risk behaviours. In a prospective study of 2298 HIV-uninfected men attending
sexually transmitted infection clinics in India, we noted that circumcision was
strongly protective against HIV-1 infection (adjusted relative risk 0.15; 95% CI
0.04-0.62; p=0.0089); however, we noted no protective effect against herpes
simplex virus type 2, syphilis, or gonorrhoea. The specificity of this relation
suggests a biological rather than behavioural explanation for the protective
effect of male circumcision against HIV-1.


Another study found by the search examined men from the same region whose tribal customs either did or did not include circumcision, so in contrast to the Orange Farm (South Africa) study just recently published, the procedure was not done on adults just prior to the onset of the study. Other studies included extensive HIV counselling for both circumcised and uncircumcised groups in addition to the surgical procedure.

Although the experimental designs and controlled variables among several studies precluded a meaningfull overall data meta-analysis, each study alone found that circumcision had some protective value against HIV, both in hetersexual and homosexual practices. One investigation suggested that the foreskin may contain a number of HIV target cells. That alone might help to explain its failure to protect against other unrelated STDs.
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#19
Those Jews seemed to know something way back then, didn't they? S1
___________________________________________________________________________________________________
"INSIDE EVERY PROGRESSIVE IS A TOTALITARIAN SCREAMING TO GET OUT" - David Horowitz

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#20
John L Wrote:Those Jews seemed to know something way back then, didn't they? S1

I thought AIDS was a most recent disease?
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