HomeEditorial CommentCircumcision not end to infection

Circumcision not end to infection


The youth may get the message that once a man is circumcised, he can no longer contract or spread the virus. This is the main message proponents of male circumcision are spreading. It is wrong, not only from a statistical point of view but also because the research supporting it has not been 100% conclusive.

Mainly based on mathematical models, the research has predicted that one new HIV infection could be averted for every five to 15 men who are newly circumcised. From this, researchers have extrapolated that six million new HIV infections and three million deaths could be prevented in 20 years if all men in sub-Saharan Africa become circumcised.

The statistics, therefore, claim that through circumcision a man reduces his chances of contracting HIV, the virus that causes Aids, by 30%. Sceptics have described this as similar to the Russian roulette!

If one is told that a gun has only one bullet in one of its six chambers, so one has only a less 20% chance of being shot dead by the first pull of the trigger, does that make it safe to fire at one’s own head?

How far can mathematical models be banked on?

Many scientists and groups interested in the HIV research are agreed that research needs to continue into how effective circumcision is as an HIV prevention method. They also want people to know the other impacts of male circumcision on the spread of HIV such as: will it not lead to a return to the permissiveness of the past?

Young women may falsely believe that circumcised men are safe while circumcised male predators may take advantage of this belief.

Male circumcision is only good for hygiene; people ought to remain as vigilant as they have been in the past. The fact that some MPs tested HIV-negative despite their ages is testimony to the effectiveness of the known methods of preventing infection.

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