HIV PREVENTION: Maligned Langerhans cells may prove invaluable

The much maligned Langerhans cells, as noted in an earlier post, appear to act as a “natural barrier” to HIV. The study, downloadable below, flies in the face of much speculation without evidence that these same cells were the vector for HIV infection through the foreskin during sexual intercourse.

Does anyone else see the circumcision push as some grand experiment, akin to any other PR campaign, on a relatively powerless population? It is not implausible that as more studies come to the fore, the real explanation for an alleged higher infection rate in intact men will turn out to be merely coincidental and the lower rate in circumcised men attributable to socio-cultural or other factors.

Download Langerin is a natural barrier to HIV-1 transmission by Langerhans cells

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2 Responses to HIV PREVENTION: Maligned Langerhans cells may prove invaluable

  1. Iggy says:

    Aren’t Langerhorn cells just a fancy way of saying “mucous membrane”? In that case, where’s the rallying of troops to cut out the mouth, cut off eyelids, chop up vaginas?

  2. TLC Tugger says:

    ^^ the lower rate in circumcised men {may be found to be} attributable to socio-cultural or other factors. ^^
    – – – – –
    Totally. I was thinking about what it would mean if I went to the middle of Africa looking for 3000 men who might volunteer to be circumcised. Many of them might be from tribes who had Muslim-influenced traditions. Those men might think of circ as a purification ritual for which they were overdue.
    Thus, once they were cut, they may possess a mindset like “I have been purified, time to start living a chaste life” and so it’s not hard to imagine how this could confound the results of an investigation into the effects of amputating healthy valuable body parts.
    In the African nations of Cameroon, Ghana, Lesotho, Malawi, Rwanda, and Tanzania, HIV is markedly more common among the circumcised
    (http://www.drpetra.co.uk/blog/?p=440).

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