NOTEBOOK: UCSF ignores request for interview

A couple of weeks ago, this site contacted the University of California, San Francisco, HIV InSite, to request an interview with someone in the organization to discuss the UNAIDS and WHO recommendations on male circumcision.

I got no response. However, I know someone in the organization passed the request up the chain of command because shortly thereafter, perhaps a couple hours later, I got a hit from the president’s office of UCSF. Coincidence? Maybe. I would be flattered to think the premiere research institution on HIV in the United States had found its way to this site.

During the last few months, I have been struck by the almost total lack of discussion regarding the ethical issues involved. Subsumed therein is how public health policy administrators may handle the cultural sensitivities that have worked as a bulwark against circumcision among certain groups in the United States. Here lies, in my opinion, an ethical minefield due to the temptation to misrepresent or downplay the risks and possible undesirable outcomes — and the plain ignorance by most American health professionals of negative outcomes.

There are only so many ways to comment on the media’s representation and misrepresentation of this story. And so, this site will seek to do some original reporting. Being located in San Francisco makes this uniquely possible. But it is a big undertaking (for someone with a full-time day job — after all, this is just a blog).

Stay tuned for further developments.

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