October 26, 2005


Circumcision: Cutting the HIV Rate?
Breakthrough: Scientists say circumcision can help curb the spread of HIV
(Newsweek, Oct. 31, 2005)

A landmark study with major implications for the global AIDS epidemic, published this week by French and South African researchers, seems to confirm what scientists have long suspected: that circumcision cuts the risk of HIV infection dramatically, by as much as 60 percent. If similar studies now underway in Kenya and Uganda corroborate the results, circumcision could become a powerful weapon—with condom use and other measures—in the fight against AIDS.

This just in, if you follow all God's commands you cut the spread to none.

Posted by Orrin Judd at October 26, 2005 5:33 PM

On the cutting edge of societal evolution . . .

Posted by: Mike Morley at October 26, 2005 5:41 PM

*scratches circumcision guy off revenge list*

Posted by: Ali Choudhury at October 26, 2005 6:07 PM

Nice to see equal opportunity genital mutilation in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Posted by: ghostcat at October 26, 2005 6:45 PM

ghostcat: No one who has ever seen the results of "female circumcision" could write something so stupid...

Posted by: b at October 26, 2005 6:51 PM

I wonder what Andrew Sullivan will make of this since he has campaigned against circumsion for some time. Guess I don't wonder too much, since I refuse to visit his blog.

Posted by: Buttercup at October 26, 2005 7:10 PM

If the Creator wanted foreskin-less men, why didn't She design them that way ?


That was clearly a joke.

Posted by: Michael Herdegen [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 26, 2005 7:13 PM

Obviously the story lends itself to all sorts of crude wisecracks, the best of which, by far, was Mike M's observation about the "cutting edge of societal evolution."

After searching the Newsweek article in vain for some clue as to what specific mechanism the researchers either found or hypothesized related circumcision with AIDS, the words, "societal evolution," emerged as a serious answer.

We are not told whether circumcised and uncircumcised individuals engaged in the same unhealthful sexual practices. It does not appear likely from the article that this factor was controlled for.

It is more that possible that circumcision correlates with a pattern of culture which includes abstention from the unsanitary habits which are known to favor transmission of the AIDS virus.

I wish I had another ribald witticism to contribute. Alas, the words, "societal evolution" limited me to a serious comment.

Posted by: Lou Gots at October 26, 2005 8:17 PM


You'd rather seal the covenant with a gonad?

Posted by: oj at October 26, 2005 8:20 PM


Well, men have said for millenia that they would give up the left one for [xxx].

Posted by: ratbert at October 26, 2005 10:23 PM

OJ: It was the obvious joke; someone had to do it.

Posted by: Mike Morley at October 26, 2005 10:52 PM

"If the Creator wanted foreskin-less men, why didn't She design them that way?"

To find out who her friends are.

Posted by: Robert Schwartz at October 27, 2005 12:19 AM

Yeah, no doubt the being that dreamed up quantum physics and caterpillars-to-butterflies could think of no better way to find out who Its friends are than by whether they'd be willing to chop off parts of their bodies.

Une solution trs lgante.


I'd rather seal the deal with a small tattoo.

Posted by: Michael Herdegen [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 27, 2005 3:07 AM