1. Hugh Intactive Hugh Intactive New Zealand says:

    This study merits a great big "SO WHAT?" It's hardly surprising if an enclosed part of the body, like between the toes, has different bacteria from an open part. The rest of the study is pure speculation piled on more speculation. But just let a story say "circumcision" and "HIV" and the media are all over it.

    When are the media going to notice that it is just a tiny clique of interconnected researchers who are doing nothing but churning out articles in support of infant circumcision? In this case, the clique members are Aaron Tobian, Maria Wawer, Ronald Gray, David Serwadda and Godfrey Kigozi. Their study is of two groups of only 78 paid adult volunteers for circumcision - hardly a large or random sample of the population; each man accounts for 1.2 percentage points. They were recruited by inviting each other, so they would tend to know each other and maybe even have sexual partners in common. They are part of one of the three studies claiming to show that circumcision reduces HIV transmission (but only from women to men), that circumcision is safe, that it does no harm to sex and (not so publicised) that it does not reduce HIV transmission from men to women. (In fact they found it may INCREASE it, but that has had zero publicity.) They must be one of the most over-used experimental groups in history.

    Why did they not give equivalent publicity to the letter from 38 top paediatricians - heads or spokespeople for 22 paediatric associations in 17 countries - basically the whole of Europe - pointing out that the American Academy of Pediatrics circumcision policy is culturally biased, utterly fails to show that the benefits outweigh the risks, and fails to assign any weight to the individual's right to choose the fate of his own genitals? (www.circumstitions.com/Docs/aap-12-europe.pdf  They wrote because the AAP policy was being touted to promote legalising infant circumcision in Germany, contrary to its constitution.)
    Or a new study showing that circumcision has no significant effect on STI transmission? (http://www.hindawi.com/isrn/urology/2013/109846/)

The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
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