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Circumcision of Males linked to low HIV prevalence in RP

CAPE TOWN, South Africa - An official of the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS on Saturday (Sunday in Manila) praised the Philippines for having one of the lowest HIV/AIDS prevalence rates in the Asia-Pacific, which she attributed to the country's practice of almost universal male circumcision.

"One of the major reasons for the Philippines' low HIV prevalence rate is the fact that it practices almost universal male circumcision. We know that male circumcision protects against HIV partially, about a 60 percent reduction for men and eventually that means Filipino women are less likely to encounter men who are HIV positive so they have lower rates of HIV," Dr. Catherine Hankins, chief scientific adviser to UNAIDS, she told

"The Philippines, in adopting male circumcision despite the fact that it is primarily a Roman Catholic country has meant a better control of the epidemic."

Data from the Department of Health National AIDS Registry shows that from January 1984 to December 2008, there were 3,589 HIV Ab seropositive cases reported in the Philippines. Of that number, 2,787 (78%) were asymptomatic and 802 (22%) were AIDS cases. Seventy percent (2,500) were males.

Hankins said male circumcision substantially reduces female-to-male transmission of HIV and is recommended by UNAIDS and the World Health Organization for HIV prevention in countries with high rates of heterosexual HIV transmission and low male circumcision prevalence.

She said various studies have shown the benefits of male circumcision including lower rates of urinary tract infections in male infants who are circumcised; lower risk of penile cancer and lower prevalence of some sexually transmitted infections such as human papillomavirus (HPV) and herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2).

She said circumcised men do not suffer health problems associated with the foreskin such as phimosis (an inability to retract the foreskin) or paraphimosis (swelling of the retracted foreskin causing inability to return it to its normal position). She said circumcised men also find it easier to maintain penile hygiene.

Two studies also suggest that female partners of circumcised men have a lower risk of cancer of the cervix, which is caused by persistent infection with high-risk oncogenic (cancer-inducing) types of human papillomavirus.


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Mark Lyndon said...

If we found out that cutting off part of a girl's genitals reduced her risk of contracting an STI, would that make it acceptable? The Stallings study in Tanzania showed exactly that.

I'm tired of people trying to justify cutting parts off other people's bodies. The way to avoid HIV is not to have unsafe sex with HIV+ partners, not to have part of your genitals cut off.

Ireland and Poland are Catholic and almost no-one there is circumcised, yet they have rates just as low as the Philippines.

Circumcision is a dangerous distraction in the fight against AIDS. There are six African countries where men are more likely to be HIV+ if they've been circumcised: Rwanda, Cameroon, Ghana, Lesotho, Malawi, and Swaziland. Eg in Malawi, the HIV rate is 13.2% among circumcised men, but only 9.5% among intact men. In Cameroon, the HIV rate is 4.1% among circumcised men, but only 1.1% among intact men. If circumcision really worked against AIDS, this just wouldn't happen.

We now have people calling circumcision a "vaccine" or "invisible condom", and viewing circumcision as an alternative to condoms. Meanwhile, recent research seems to show that male circumcision *increases* the risk of male-to-female transmission.

ABC (Abstinence, Being faithful, Condoms) is the way forward. Promoting genital surgery will cost lives, not save them.

Shen said...

This is also based on a study and not based on some gossips. Besides circumcision does not cost lives. In the Philippines it does not cost lives because it is a very basic and non-lethal surgery. The fact is circumcision is not prescribed here as a method to be safe from AIDS and in fact your ABC formula or Abstinence, Being faithful, Condoms is highly promoted.

The research also shows that there are certain genitalia infections that was lessened due to circumcision... and also I prefer being circumcised for a lot of factors including... well being able to clean my penis easier... and its preferred here.

Circumcision is also linked to the Bible and Christianity and in fact Christ was circumcised.

You have missed the point of the article and the news. Circumcision is circumcision and for me there is nothing wrong about that nor is there anything wrong about uncut men.

For those who prescribed circumcision as vaccine or invisible condom then they are fools for it is not.