NHPC 2009: Report from a member of Intact America in attendance

Llewellyn and Chapin at NHPC 2009Above, David Llewellyn and Georganne Chapin speak with attendees at the 2009 National HIV Prevention Conference in Atlanta,Georgia, held August 23-26, 2009.

From David Llewellyn, Esq.:

This week I attended the CDC sponsored 2009 National HIV Prevention Conference in Atlanta, Georgia, where I live. The assembled CDC worthies were promoting circumcision on the basis of three African Randomized Controlled Trials (RCTs), the conclusions of which were presented by one speaker as being “beyond a reasonable doubt.” Those trials purport to show a dramatic reduction in HIV acquisition in circumcised adult men. They have been subjected to considerable criticism and doubt by others including noted physicians and public health professionals. The following is a short report from the conference.

Dr. Katrina Kretsinger, of the CDC was asked during one of the sessions if the RCTs would be repeated in the U.S. She replied that they would not because it would be unethical to do so! This raises the question: How were they ethical to start with?

I attended a session where Dr. Deborah Gust of the CDC presented a paper demonstrating that circumcision made no difference in the acquisition of HIV by insertive gay males. I asked why these results did not bring into question the conclusions of the RCTs since the anus supposedly contains more HIV than the vagina. The reply, as I understood it, was that since the insertive males also were sometimes receptive males you could not say how they got HIV. Of course, if that is the case, then the study was worthless. But since it was presented as being worthy (otherwise why present it?), I am of the opinion that it does bring into question the validity of the RCTs, as does the known fact that the U.S. has the highest rate of HIV in the developed world (a fact one speaker brought up), the highest STD rate in the developed world, and the highest rate of male circumcision in the developed world. So much for the great American circumcision experiment! It has already failed! Why would reasonable scientists want to repeat it?

At one of the last sessions, the speaker from “Operation Abraham,” an Israel-based group that apparently hopes to be engaged to assist the U.S. in circumcising black and Hispanic males, put a photo of an intact male up on the screen. The figure of an elephant had been drawn around the penis so that the intact penis looked like an elephant’s trunk. The words “Yes! A circumcision please!” had been added to the photo. I remonstrated loudly until this smear against intact males was taken down. I then promptly left the session. I am still awaiting a deserved, written, direct apology from Dr. Peter Kilmarx, Chief of the Epidemiology Branch of the Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention of the CDC, who was in attendance and from whom I demanded an apology.

The foregoing shows the mindset of the CDC. They seem to have abandoned all scientific objectivity to promote a useless and mutilating surgery. I expect the men are all circumcised and the women are all married to circumcised men. So the trauma repeats itself and those who have been traumatized fulfill their need to traumatize others. (See www.circumcision.org on this issue). And apparently they think it is socially and ethically acceptable to denigrate a normal body part and to attempt to humiliate all intact boys and men into submitting to circumcision.

More information about circumcision can be found at the following websites:

Those who are as outraged as I am can write appropriate letters to the CDC. Addresses can be found at The CDC/AAP Project page. I herewith set forth those I suggest you write as follows:

Thomas R. Frieden, MD, MPH
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
1600 Clifton Rd
Atlanta, GA 30333

Kevin Fenton, MD, Ph.D., FFHP
The National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis,
STD, and TB Prevention (NCHHSTP)
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
1600 Clifton Rd
Atlanta, GA 30333

Notably, Fenton is British.

Peter H. Kilmarx, MD
Chief, Epidemiology Branch
Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
1600 Clifton Rd
Atlanta, GA 30333

Jonathan Mermin, MD
Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
1600 Clifton Rd
Atlanta, GA 30333

Katrina Kretsinger, MD
Lt. Cdr., U.S. Public Health Service
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
1600 Clifton Rd
Atlanta, GA 30333

Jason B. Reed, MD, MPH
Epidemiology Branch
Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
1600 Clifton Rd
Atlanta, GA 30333

Intact America Billboard at NHPC 2009

Above, Intact America sponsored a public outreach effort that included mobile billboards with the message, “Tell the CDC that circumcising babies doesn’t prevent HIV”.

And since the CDC is consulting with the American Academy of Pediatrics, which is considering revising its circumcision policy (indeed Operation Abraham’s abstract for its presentation mentioned “lobbying” the AAP), a letter to the AAP’s Circumcision Task Force is needed. You can get the AAP’s address at its website. In addition I set forth below some suggested addresses:

Susan Blank, MD
AAP Task Force on Circumcision
New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene
125 Worth St.
New York, NY 10013

Renée Jenkins, MD
American Academy of Pediatrics
Professor and Chair
Department of Pediatrics and Child Health
Howard University Hospital
2041 Georgia Ave, NW, Room 6B02
Washington, DC 20060

Jay Berkelhamer, MD, FAAP
American Academy of Pediatrics
Children’s Health Care of Atlanta
1600 Tullie Circle
Atlanta, GA 30329

David T. Tayloe, Jr., MD
American Academy of Pediatrics
2706 Medical Office Place
Goldsboro, NC 27534

Errol Alden, MD
Executive Director
American Academy of Pediatrics
141 Northwest Point Blvd,
Elk Grove Village, IL 60007

David Llewellyn, Esq.

About David Wilton

fronterizo, public defender, intactivist, gay
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2 Responses to NHPC 2009: Report from a member of Intact America in attendance

  1. KOTFrank says:

    Thanks for the names of who to write to. And now it all makes sense with Thomas R. Frieden as director of the CDC. Let’s face it, Frieden tipped is hand when he was in charge in New York, recommending circumcision for all males at any age based on the African studies before they were published. Though I didn’t expect such audacious bigotry dished so righteously. I do expect the CDC to promote circumcision and even recommend it just coming short of mandatory. All now depends on public response, and decent doctors to rebuke the CDC. What the pro-circers are planning is to elevate circumcision into health standards by calling it therapeutic. The Tasmania Law Reform Institute reports Justice Brennan “I would define treatment (including surgery) as therapeutic when it is administered for the chief purpose of preventing, removing or ameliorating a cosmetic deformity, a pathological condition or a psychiatric disorder, provided the treatment is appropriate for and proportionate to the purpose for which it is administered.” & Circumcision is unusual because the ethics of the procedure are being questioned long after the procedure has garnered wide acceptance. & It may be that the greater the controversy associated with the procedure the greater the chance of it being categorised as major. So we will do well to keep up the controversy and to this end it can be seen the CDC is making it easy for us.

  2. Joseph says:

    I’ve just about had enough of the CDC plugging RIC based on bogus studies that don’t even apply to children. The studies are based on the hypothesis that the “Langerhans cells which are removed in circumcision are the prime port of entry for HIV,” which has already been completely debunked.



    I’m not sure why this finding doesn’t simply vanquish the Circumcision/HIV argument. I’m not sure WHY these studies are even taken seriously. We would NEVER allow the “evaluation” of “studies” that suggested FGM prevented anything. EVER. Those studies would be rightfully thrown out. Notice how not much publicity has been given to the Stallings study.


    When on EARTH would we ever tolerate a picture of the female genitalia with captions like “Ew! Chewed up bubblegum! An infibulation, please!”? NEVER. We would NEVER tolerate it. We ALL need to write those bozos at the CDC and ask them precisely what they’re smoking that they’ve allowed this crap to happen.

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