The history of male circumcision is a story of a cure in search of a disease. Whatever the bogyman of the era is, amputating a child or man’s foreskin will supposedly cure it. From masturbation to cancer, epilepsy to lead poisoning, it is a procedure of desperation that inevitably proves radically or totally ineffective too long after it has been embraced by a flummoxed and biased medical community It should be noted that circumcision is a significant source of revenue, not only from the operation, but the sales of neonatal foreskins for use in the research and cosmetic industries. Not to mention the psychological bias that circumcised men and the parents of circumcised children have towards the idea that their penises are the ideal and circumcision is a beneficial rather than harmful practice.
Anti-infant/child circumcision activists predicted that the operation would be declaired an HIV/AIDS preventative and as in fact it came to pass, with the major news outlets calling it a “surgical AIDS vaccine” and mass circumcision initiatives launched around the world. Even as this was happening, medical researchers and social behaviorists were both questioning the validity of the studies and the social impact of treating it as a preventative measure.
Now, predictably several new reports are out that are showing just how ineffective a preventative measure for HIV male circumcision is:
The illusive promise of circumcision to prevent female-to-male HIV infection – not the way to go for South Africa – South Africa Medical Journal Vol 101, NO 11
And over on PozBlog Simon Collery has a damning report (with very good references) on the push for circumcision in Africa, even if the face of rapidly mounting evidence that it serves no function at all except to line the pockets of providers of disposable circumcision clamps.