A “Living” section front page article is titled “Circumcision: Nationwide, practice is declining; but Lancaster County keeps to tradition.” It goes on to say “Circumcision was once believed to contribute to cleanliness and, therefore, reduce risk of urinary-tract infections and even sexually transmitted diseases. Then, a 1999 policy statement, made after a two-year investigation by the American Academy of Pediatrics, determined the procedure was not significantly effective in preventing infection or disease.”
WATCHDOG: A quick search of “AIDS Circumcision Africa” on Google produced an April 27, 2006 New York Times article headlined “Circumcision Studied in Africa as AIDS Preventive.”
It states: “The most striking studies suggest that men can lower their own risk of infection by roughly two-thirds, and that infected men can reduce the odds of transmitting the virus to their partners by about 30 percent, simply by undergoing circumcision. Research suggests that the cells on the underside of the foreskin are prime targets for the virus and that tears and abrasions in the foreskin can invite the infection.”
The findings have been substantiated by further studies and are well accepted. Where circumcision has been combined with single partner sexual relationships and condoms, the ratio of HIV / AIDS in the population in African nations has dropped to Western levels, approximately 3%.
Circumcision is accepted in Muslim countries but it will take much education to successfully introduce it into other cultures. Practitioners of native medicine are often enlisted into the effort.