IAS 2011: Improved HIV risk reduction from circumcision

I have very little to say about Auvert’s new report from Orange Farm. It is unclear how sound these results are. I cannot begin to dissect them. I encourage those knowledgeable enough about the science to do so.

The real issue here for me is whether an alleged 76% protective effect warrants initiating non-voluntary infant circumcision campaigns. They obviously think it does. The question again is whether informed consent is really being obtained. I posit that it is not because the ignorant cannot be counted on to inform circumcision candidates what will be lost forever.

Our job is to hammer home the effects of circumcision on comfort, pleasure and satisfaction – and to verify or debunk the results offered by those on the ground. We cannot do that from thousands of miles away in North America or Europe. We go to Africa to do the objective verification and social science research left undone today or sit it out and let the circumcisers drive developments. It can’t be any more stark than that.

About David Wilton

fronterizo, public defender, intactivist, gay
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3 Responses to IAS 2011: Improved HIV risk reduction from circumcision

  1. David Wilton says:

    So Charles Rich, you didn’t finish your story. What “AIDS unrelated” disease caused you to test false positive and what cured it? A false diagnosis for you does not prove every HIV/AIDS diagnosis false.

  2. Charles Rich says:

    I know that the question I’m about to ask might sound crazy to some people, but just how sure are we that HIV causes AIDS in the first place?
    Most people aren’t aware of it, but there is a significant and growing number of scientists who ask that very question. They are labeled “AIDS denialists” by their detractors (as if labeling them proved them wrong,) but here’s the thing:
    I am living proof that there’s at least *something* to the idea that everything you’ve been told about HIV and AIDS for the past 27 years is at the very least a gross exaggeration, if not an outright lie.
    The proof is as simple as it is irrefutable: I am still alive. I’m not supposed to be.
    Eleven years ago this very month, I was in a hospital with AIDS pneumonia, struggling for every breath as though it were quite literally my last. I weighed 105 lbs soaking wet, and by this point I’d been continually ill with this same respiratory disease for a solid two years.
    Today, I weigh 212 lbs and I sing (albeit badly) in a hard rock band. I’d probably sing better if I weren’t a smoker, but my lung capacity isn’t half bad for a middle-aged smoker who, eleven years ago, couldn’t inhale or exhale more than a few CCs of air without excruciating pain.
    What happened? Did I discover some “miracle cure” for AIDS? No.
    …At least not in the literal sense. I did discover a “cure” of sorts: The “cure” is knowledge. The “cure” is doing your own research and making your own informed health decisions rather than simply swallowing every pill your doctor prescribes. The “cure” is to find out what (HIV-unrelated) disease you *really* have that causes you to test false-positive on these ridiculously lousy antibody tests, and treat that disease appropriately, rather than simply assuming that it’s caused by HIV and that a toxic triple-drug cocktail is the answer.
    At least, that’s what “cured” me.
    If HIV isn’t what causes AIDS, then it makes no difference whether circumcision prevents transmission. If there’s no such thing as a nasally-acquired virus that spites your face, then it doesn’t matter whether you cut off your nose to prevent it, now does it?
    …Just some food for thought.
    — Gos Blank

  3. We go to Africa to do the objective verification and social science research left undone today or sit it out and let the circumcisers drive developments. It can’t be any more stark than that.

    Where are our African intactivists? Why do we never see well-funded researchers trying to debunk the circumcision pseudo-science?
    Why is it always the circumcision fetishists who can organize a media/pseudo-science blitz?
    Why does nobody in the fight against HIV ever demand more than just statistical studies (that apply to a narrow situation, no less)? Why does nobody demand an irrefutable biological connection between being cirucmcised and having appreciable protection against HIV? Why does nobody care that studies unanimously show that gay men mysteriously have no protection from circumcision? Why does nobody care that there are so many counterexamples that cast doubt on circumcision’s protective benefit?
    As distressing as it is that we are letting the circumcision fetishists run amuck in HIV-riddled Africa, it is far more distressing to me that the rest of the world hasn’t simply laughed at their efforts. I suppose the media is partly to blame, because it’s fun for circumcising peoples to applaud themselves, and it’s fun for non-circumcising peoples to joke about cutting up men’s penises. Unfortunately, at the end of the day, the joke is on millions of completely healthy children who are being subjected to forcible, traumatic, destructive penis surgery (and that’s just when it goes well).

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