Circumcision as HIV prevention

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AIDS Ribbonhealth news.

According to the San Francisco AIDS Foundation, in 2007 HIV/AIDS was the leading cause of death among men aged 25-54 years. In 2009, 15,836 people in the city were living with HIV/AIDS, 92% of them male. That means approximately 5% of the total adult male population is infected. Of that 92%, three-quarters were men who had sex with other men. 

The city of San Francisco is home to more than 3% of the country’s total people infected with HIV/AIDS. Of those infected, an estimated 88%-92% of AIDS victims were receiving drug treatment, and 68%-74% of those with non-AIDS HIV were receiving treatment.

While those figures may not come as a surprise, one man’s plight to ban a potentially lifesaving procedure in the fight against HIV/AIDS might. Lloyd Schofield, a retired hotel credit manager and self proclaimed “inactivist” is attempting to have circumcision of males banned in the city of San Francisco. His reason is simple: he says that genital mutilation is costly, painful and an unnecessary medical procedure. And while most will agree that it is a matter of choice and preference primarily, there have been long-standing medical debates over the benefits of having the foreskin removed. There has been little supported evidence that medical benefit outweighs preference and culture. That is, until now.

Dr. James Shelton, science adviser to the Bureau of Global Health of the U.S. Agency for International Development, revealed the results of a study which showed a 60% decrease in HIV infection due solely to circumcision. The study was conducted in Kenya, South Africa, and Uganda. The areas were chosen for their low circumcision but high HIV/AIDS rates.

details.

The study was broken down into two control groups, all uninfected with the virus. One group got circumcised, the other did not. Of these young, sexually active males, 60% less of the circumcised males contracted the virus. Due to the incredible findings the studies were ended early and all the males circumcised. The theory that the foreskin is capable of inhabiting the virus post-intercourse and likely to be passed to the next sexual partner is supported.

Langerhan cells, a specific type of cell, are found in the foreskin, vagina and oral mucosa. These cells enable the HIV virus to enter the body. The cells are found nowhere else on the penis. Removal of the foreskin would ultimately decrease the possibility of infection, as the study showed, upward of 60%, a percentage as high as many conventional oral and injected viral vaccines.

With the World Health Organization and UNAIDS, the United Nations’ HIV/AIDS agency, both recommending circumcision as “part of a comprehensive HIV prevention package” San Francisco residents need to realize the impact this unconventional “vaccine” can have on the HIV/AIDS epidemic and opt not only to avoid signing the petition, but consider it part of their own preventive plan.

 

AIDS Ribbonhealth news.

According to the San Francisco AIDS Foundation, in 2007 HIV/AIDS was the leading cause of death among men aged 25-54 years. In 2009, 15,836 people in the city were living with HIV/AIDS, 92% of them male. That means approximately 5% of the total adult male population is infected. Of that 92%, three-quarters were men who had sex with other men.