ICGI Report: Circumcised Men Get HIV

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The International Coalition for Genital Integrity released its advisory board report on circumcision and the US HIV epidemic today. Recent news of African studies has given American physicians and parents cause for concern, raising the question of whether or not circumcision is a valid deterrent for the US and other developed countries. The report concludes that there is no evidence that the African studies showing a reduction in female-to-male transmission of HIV have any relevance to the HIV epidemic in America.

The International Coalition for Genital Integrity released its advisory board report on circumcision and the US HIV epidemic today. Recent news of African studies has given American physicians and parents cause for concern, raising the question of whether or not circumcision is a valid deterrent for the US and other developed countries. The report concludes that there is no evidence that the African studies showing a reduction in female-to-male transmission of HIV have any relevance to the HIV epidemic in America.

The American HIV crisis is very different from the African epidemic -- different cultures, sexual practices, virus strains, transmission vectors, and sanitary and hygienic conditions.

No randomized controlled trial has shown that circumcision is an effective preventative in America or any other developed country. To adopt a new statement based on inapplicable evidence, implying to the American public that circumcision will reduce a male's chances of contracting HIV by 50--60 percent, is not only inconclusive, but misleading. Increased condom promotion and safe sex campaigns will accomplish much higher infection reduction, both here and abroad.

The report covers a number of topics not being included in parental and health care discussions including how circumcision could increase the prevalence of HIV, a 'social vaccine' is needed to stop AIDS not mass surgeries, and presents new data recently published.

For instance, Langerhans cells in the foreskin have a protective effect against pathogens -- including HIV -- by secreting Langerin. The previous theory was that Langerhans cells are an entrance point for viruses. It now seems the theory is partially true, but the mechanism at work is that Langerhans cells set a trap for viruses in order to destroy them with Langerin.

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