CDC: Responding to criticism, CDC says final circumcision recommendations will be completely voluntary.

Evidence of the great confusion the CDC is causing around the world is beginning to trickle in. The Australian morning program Sunrise [article removed] aired a debate between one Dr. George Williams and the rabid (non-doctor) Brian Morris on the issue of revisiting infant circumcision in light of the African RCTs. More than once, the program hosts stated the CDC was considering making neonatal circumcision compulsory.

Compulsory means obligatory or coerced. Clearly, they got it wrong insofar as adult men or the parents of children are concerned. (Yes, I agree that for the infant it is always compulsory. However, this wasn’t what the hosts intended to say.)

The CDC posted the following [statement removed] to their website soon after the National HIV Prevention Conference concluded.

Status of CDC Male Circumcision Recommendations

cdcSome recent reports have speculated about the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC’s) upcoming public health recommendations on male circumcision for HIV prevention in the United States.

It is important to note that the recommendations are still in development and CDC has made no determination at this time about the final content. CDC is employing a deliberative, evidence-based process for developing the circumcision recommendations, which allows for both external and internal CDC experts to provide input. CDC will also publish draft recommendations for public comment before the content will be finalized.

With respect to infant circumcision, it is important to recognize that many options are still being considered in this process, including simply recommending that health-care providers educate parents about the potential benefits and risks to ensure that parents have the information they need to make an informed decision.

In developing its recommendations, CDC is also considering whether circumcision should be recommended for heterosexual adults at high risk for HIV infection in the United States, as well as whether there is sufficient scientific evidence to make any recommendations for men who have sex with men.

Whatever the content may include, CDC’s final circumcision recommendations will be completely voluntary. While CDC has not yet determined if male circumcision should be recommended for any population, ultimately the decision will rest with individuals and parents. CDC’s public health imperative is to provide the best possible information on the risks and benefits to help inform those decisions.

I don’t know whether the presence and advocacy of Intact America at the conference prompted this response, but clearly great dissatisfaction with the process was expressed – and apparently heard. It isn’t too late to be heard (again) on this issue. Please visit The AAP/CDC Project page and take action. Also, see the post below for a full report on the conference and Intact America’s efforts there.

About David Wilton

fronterizo, public defender, intactivist, gay
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2 Responses to CDC: Responding to criticism, CDC says final circumcision recommendations will be completely voluntary.

  1. Anonymous says:

    You rock, David. You’re doing a great job. You’re so right: circumcision for the infant is never voluntary. How do these people get appointed to the CDC??

  2. Joe says:

    I saw this yesterday, should have passed it along. Did you see the RACP reply.
    “Comments made by Prof Morris during the Sunrise interview this morning should not be interpreted as representing the RACP’s policy on infant circumcision. The College is currently reviewing its guidelines in line with its evidence-based approach to medicine. Prof Morris’s comments that the RACP ‘got it wrong’ are not supported by the RACP and his statements were not endorsed by the policy writing group.”

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