Circumcision Doesn't Lessen HIV Transmission

  • DCEric

    Posts: 3713

    Jul 19, 2009 1:22 AM GMT
    http://abcnews.go.com/Health/Healthday/story?id=8105119&page=1

    Oh well, so much for that theory.

    (BONUS: Picture of what a doctor that is also a voyeur might look like.)
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jul 19, 2009 2:55 AM GMT
    The main argument for circumcision is that it reduces a guy's chances of contracting HIV.

    In the study mentioned here, the men already had HIV and the researchers were just checking if circumcision could reduce transmission to their female partners.

    Quite frankly, the whole study sounds a bit disturbing and could probably only be done in Africa. I highly doubt anyone in the Western world would accept a study that asks adult, HIV positive men to undergo irreversible surgery and then sleep (unprotected) with their uninfected female partners in order to test a theory.
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    Jul 19, 2009 3:13 AM GMT
    These circed African studies have been bad science from the start. Cut Africans are more likely to be exposed to modern medical care so any study that compares cut to uncut is bogus.

    When are people gonna really believe in evolutionary theory! Nature did not attach 15 square inches of foreskin to your dick to reduce your chances of survival. Get a brain .
  • DCEric

    Posts: 3713

    Jul 19, 2009 3:18 AM GMT
    Alpha13 said15 square inches of foreskin

    That's a lot of foreskin. 3 X 5.
    /Not that I have any to compare it to.
    //TMI?
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    Jul 19, 2009 3:41 AM GMT
    Wow...what a disturbing study?! Rather misleading that the pictured physician and 'fuzzy' couple are caucasian, which would obviously NOT be representative of the group that was being studied.

    That said, I don't believe that decreasing HIV transmission has ever been the main impetus for circumcision, particularly given the short history of the disease. I think it much more accurate to state that the impetus has largely been religious- and/or hygiene-based and circumcision has definitively been shown to reduce STI infection in numerous studies.
  • Delivis

    Posts: 2332

    Jul 19, 2009 4:11 AM GMT
    If you chop off the ass and penis entirely it helps prevent most STDs.
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    Jul 19, 2009 4:21 AM GMT
    Sorry, I didn't mean to suggest HIV prevention was the main impetus for circumcision. Just that in the context of HIV, it's normally mentioned as reducing the risk to the circumcised man, not necessarily his partner.
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    Jul 19, 2009 4:36 AM GMT
    The complete lack of ethics involved in this study reminds me of the Tuskeegee Syphilis Trials... Besides that, I don't know what to think. The title of the article is a little misleading, since it only seems to apply to women, but the outcome of the study is also not quite valid since they admit to having non-statistically significant data.. Hmmmm...
  • MSUBioNerd

    Posts: 1813

    Jul 19, 2009 5:07 AM GMT
    Actually, Alpha, evolutionary theory doesn't in any way contradict the notion that certain viruses may be more likely to spread to men with intact foreskins than men without. Major reasons for this include:

    1) Men with an intact foreskin have a greater concentration of white blood cells right near the tip of the penis. White blood cells are typically responsible for fighting infections. However, HIV is a rare disease in that the virus lives and reproduces inside white blood cells. The high concentration of white blood cells could therefore typically be an advantage, but in the case of this particular illness they are a cost. Evolution often involves tradeoffs.

    2) HIV has not been around for very long. The best molecular evidence I've seen estimates that the first case of a human infection was around 1930. Average human generation time is roughly 27 years. We've therefore been through around 3 generations of humans since the first case. That is way too little time for substantial evolutionary change in a species as numerous as ours, and with as high of survivorship.

    3) Humans aren't the only things evolving. Viruses evolve too, and they're under very strong pressure to increase their transmission to new hosts. It is entirely possible for a virus to co-opt its hosts defenses for its own uses. It's much the same way that Monarch butterflies store up the poison that milkweeds produce to deter herbivores, and thus the butterfly becomes poisonous.
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    Jul 19, 2009 5:09 AM GMT
    From my understanding, the "protection" from circumcision is thought to come from the gradual keratinizing of the skin underneath the foreskin (typically this area is unkeratinized and full of immune cells that can become infected by HIV). In the study presented in that link, they tried to observe protective effects immediately after men became circumsized. From my understanding, it would take a while for the skin to remodel. So I don't really take this study very seriously.

    also, it's from my alma mater... from the school of public health... they're lightweights, really.
  • Anto

    Posts: 2035

    Jul 19, 2009 3:10 PM GMT
    Yeah that study is different because it involves transmission from men to women instead. The circumcision study in regard to men having reduced risk themselves never said it prevented HIV infection absolutely, just that it can reduce it, but that men still need to wear protection to protect themselves regardless if they are circumcised.

    Also, the circumcision study was only regard to African men, i.e. blacks right? A large proportion of African people have an increased genetic vulnerability to HIV.

    "The findings were published in the July 17 issue of Cell Host & Microbe.
    The researchers found that a genetic trait -- found in 60 percent of African-Americans and 90 percent of Africans -- makes HIV infection 40 percent more likely. The trait is virtually nonexistent in whites."

    http://health.usnews.com/articles/health/healthday/2008/07/16/genetic-trait-boosts-aids-risks-in-blacks.html

    Would be interesting to see how circumcision would affect transmission in only white people.

    Has there ever been a study to see if circumcision of women reduces the transmission of certain stds including hiv? Less skin folds means less surface area and perhaps protection by keratinization as well.

    Circumcision should never be forced on anyone though, i.e. children, male or female. It should be a person's choice to have done or not when they are old enough to make such a decision for themselves.
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    Jul 19, 2009 3:19 PM GMT
    Here we go again with this silly debate... icon_rolleyes.gificon_rolleyes.gificon_rolleyes.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jul 19, 2009 3:25 PM GMT
    Alpha13 saidThese circed African studies have been bad science from the start. Cut Africans are more likely to be exposed to modern medical care so any study that compares cut to uncut is bogus.

    When are people gonna really believe in evolutionary theory! Nature did not attach 15 square inches of foreskin to your dick to reduce your chances of survival. Get a brain .


    Yeah. I think Nature put it there so that men don't get rug burns from not wearing underwear. Man, I wish I had my 15sq/in!!
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    Jul 19, 2009 3:31 PM GMT
    IMO, religion should be the only reason for routine circumcision.

    HIV will someday be a thing of the past and having irreversible surgery nowadays in order to prevent it, will seem silly then.
  • swogdog

    Posts: 143

    Jul 19, 2009 3:31 PM GMT
    Unless circumcision or keeping the skin STOPS HIV infection entirely, then these studies have no impact on my life.

    Slap a friggin' condom on it.

    Done.
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    Jul 19, 2009 3:34 PM GMT
    The study's results were probably intended for use in Africa anyway, because putting a condom on there is a much bigger issue both financially and socially.
  • DCEric

    Posts: 3713

    Jul 19, 2009 3:37 PM GMT
    Delivis saidIf you chop off the ass and penis entirely it helps prevent most STDs.

    Oral Herpes laughs at your feeble attempt to protect yourself.
  • swogdog

    Posts: 143

    Jul 19, 2009 3:45 PM GMT
    SeaSon saidThe study's results were probably intended for use in Africa anyway, because putting a condom on there is a much bigger issue both financially and socially.


    I understand that, but I feel they are delaying the inevitable with marginally successful procedures (at best) that, one - siphon money away from projects focused on education and prevention through behavior change; and, two - give false hope to those who don't understand the facts well enough to begin with.
  • wellwell

    Posts: 2265

    Jul 19, 2009 3:51 PM GMT
    ...yea, yea, yea . . .; and it is COMPLETELY BARBARIC
  • Anto

    Posts: 2035

    Jul 19, 2009 4:00 PM GMT
    SeaSon saidIMO, religion should be the only reason for routine circumcision.

    HIV will someday be a thing of the past and having irreversible surgery nowadays in order to prevent it, will seem silly then.



    Religon should not be used to justify it either, that's even worse justification!
  • Anto

    Posts: 2035

    Jul 19, 2009 4:01 PM GMT
    DCEric said
    Delivis saidIf you chop off the ass and penis entirely it helps prevent most STDs.

    Oral Herpes laughs at your feeble attempt to protect yourself.


    Not if you circumcise the head off! I mean the one on the shoulders!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jul 19, 2009 8:14 PM GMT
    DCEric saidhttp://abcnews.go.com/Health/Healthday/story?id=8105119&page=1

    Oh well, so much for that theory.

    (BONUS: Picture of what a doctor that is also a voyeur might look like.)


    I'm afraid you didn't read the results clearly. Quoting the study you cited:

    "The study results shouldn't deter programs working to increase circumcision services for men at risk for HIV, wrote Dr. Jared M. Baeten of the University of Washington in Seattle and colleagues in an accompanying commentary."

    You also need to read why the study was stopped.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jul 19, 2009 9:03 PM GMT
    My c**k is better than your c**k, blah blah blah
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jul 19, 2009 9:16 PM GMT
    Turns out there's a way to restore foreskins after all. Learn something new each day... (today's been devoted to Whitney Houston and foreskins. Not a typical combo icon_smile.gif)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foreskin_restoration
  • Anto

    Posts: 2035

    Jul 19, 2009 11:41 PM GMT
    Foreskin replacement doesn't actually bring back the nerves and structure of what was cut away though.