Display Settings:

Format

Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
AIDS Care. 2012;24(12):1565-75. doi: 10.1080/09540121.2012.661836. Epub 2012 Mar 28.

Review: a critical evaluation of arguments opposing male circumcision for HIV prevention in developed countries.

Author information

  • 1School of Medical Sciences and Bosch Institute, University of Sydney, NSW, Australia. brian.morris@sydney.edu.au

Abstract

A potential impediment to evidence-based policy development on medical male circumcision (MC) for HIV prevention in all countries worldwide is the uncritical acceptance by some of arguments used by opponents of this procedure. Here we evaluate recent opinion-pieces of 13 individuals opposed to MC. We find that these statements misrepresent good studies, selectively cite references, some containing fallacious information, and draw erroneous conclusions. In marked contrast, the scientific evidence shows MC to be a simple, low-risk procedure with very little or no adverse long-term effect on sexual function, sensitivity, sensation during arousal or overall satisfaction. Unscientific arguments have been recently used to drive ballot measures aimed at banning MC of minors in the USA, eliminate insurance coverage for medical MC for low-income families, and threaten large fines and incarceration for health care providers. Medical MC is a preventative health measure akin to immunisation, given its protective effect against HIV infection, genital cancers and various other conditions. Protection afforded by neonatal MC against a diversity of common medical conditions starts in infancy with urinary tract infections and extends throughout life. Besides protection in adulthood against acquiring HIV, MC also reduces morbidity and mortality from multiple other sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and genital cancers in men and their female sexual partners. It is estimated that over their lifetime one-third of uncircumcised males will suffer at least one foreskin-related medical condition. The scientific evidence indicates that medical MC is safe and effective. Its favourable risk/benefit ratio and cost/benefit support the advantages of medical MC.

PMID:
22452415
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3663581
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Icon for Atypon Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk