SYDNEY, Australia – A U.S. health expert urged governments worldwide Tuesday to endorse circumcision to slow the spread of HIV, saying men without the procedure have a greater risk of contracting the virus from infected female partners.
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Experts at an AIDS conference in Sydney also warned that HIV infection rates were rising among men who have sex with men in developing countries because of discrimination and lack of access to health services.
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The World Health Organization says male circumcision reduces the risk of female-to-male transmission of the disease by around 60 percent. But only 30 percent of men worldwide have had the procedure, mostly in countries where it is common for religious or health reasons.
This is something that we have been reading about significantly. It turns out that that silly foreskin is an HIV magnet. A bunch of cultures (notably Jewish and some Muslim) perform male circumcision very young. Some cultures (inner Africa, notably) perform the procedure at puberty (yow). But because this is often thought of as a cultural procedure, there are some cultures (sometimes antagonist ones) that are totally against it. So this has damaged efforts to get circumcision into the mainstream in countries troubled by it (such as South Africa, Nigeria and India). And there have been some stories of men not letting their junk heal properly before they have sex and actually increasing their chances of infection. Whatever the case, no one’s developed a cure or vaccine yet, so condoms and circumcision (fine, and abstinence) are still the best preventative measures.