[ View the story "To cut or not to cut" on Storify] To cut or not to cut Do the health benefits of male circumcision outweigh the risks?
The Stream· Mon, Apr 21 2014 09:14:56
Male circumcision is a religious and cultural act for many, but now more men in Africa are undergoing voluntary circumcision for health reasons. A recent
published by the Mayo Clinic Proceedings shows health benefits outweigh the risks of infant circumcision. The WHO
male circumcision reduces the risk of heterosexually transmitted HIV infections by 60 per cent, encouraging countries like Kenya, Zimbabwe, Uganda, Zambia, Malawi and South Africa to implement national circumcision programmes.
As part of its effort to combat AIDS, Zimbabwe
to circumcise more than one million men by 2015. To support the campaign, a group of legislators underwent circumcision in 2012.
Numerous advertisement campaigns around Africa extol the benefits of circumcision.
PSI/Zimbabwe Male Circumcision Commercialhealthybehaviors
However, other reports were
of the practise, arguing circumcision would not reduce the spread of HIV especially if men are not counselled effectively. A study in Uganda found more women with circumcised partners were infected with HIV compared to women with uncircumcised partners. However, this was also attributed to whether or not the women's partners had followed advice to abstain from sex for at least six weeks after the procedure.
In Zambia, advertisements seek to educate men about proper sexual health after circumcisions.
Brothers For Life Zambia - Male Circumcision PSAmedia365zambia
Many still debate if there is a clear pattern linking circumcision to lower rates of HIV transmission. A
by USAID showed that in 8 of the 18 countries with data, HIV prevalence was lower among circumcised men, while in the ten remaining countries HIV prevalence was higher among circumcised men.
, many argue that male circumcision is inhumane.
Genital mutilation (in Men or Women) is just wrong. I am glad there is an organization trying to educate people on the issue. When we read about female genital mutilation, it becomes front page, hate mongering issue against an entire region or religion, yet crickets when it comes to male mutilation. sphere2040
I don't understand how cutting healthy tissue can ever be seen as beneficial? Circumcision is nearly nonexistent in Europe, South America and many parts of Asia. They don't have high rates of people needing to be cut for medical reasons, there's really no need for it in most cases.Nat-Jones
I did not have a choice in my circumcision as I was circumcised as a baby. I resent the decision made by my parents to go through with this, as I believe it robbed me of a large amount of sensation and healthy development due to the nature of my cut. As this decision was made in religious belief it further frustrates me due to not believing in their faith. My question, or rather curiosity on the subject, is there any progress in stem cell research that could regrow the foreskin and help with a renewal of healthy development and growth? lazor-of-razor
I'm absolutely against it- and I'm female. My husband is also against it. Why? there's just no reason for it. It's genital mutilation- literally cutting and removing (without pain killers) one of the most sensitive parts of a boy's genitals. Circ was originally introduced in the US to stop boys from masturbating and no other reason. Now some doctors still advocate it as fighting penile cancer- the american cancer association has come out and said, straight up, this is not true whatsoever. They also say it's for cleanliness, but boys who are un circ'ed have less infections and less issues overall than boys who are circ'ed. Due to the intense pain it also interferes with breastfeeding.hlkolaya
Others countered that fears about male circumcision were overblown.
Why are people even trying to compare female circumcision to male circumcision? Firstly, female circumcision is a misnomer, because the processes are completely different and have very different goals in mind. When a male is circumcised properly, everything functions perfectly well, as intended. Female circumcision is a barbaric act in which the purpose is to reduce sexual pleasure for a woman, or prevent sexual intercourse all together. It is not healthy, safe, or for any kind of positive intention whatsoever. AmaroWolfwood
"Mutilate" is a very value-laden term. I would not describe my penis as being "mutilated". The research suggests that there are health benefits and that sexual functioning is improved. These aren't characteristics which we'd normally associate with the word "mutilated".Maths_Debater
Because of its benefits? My parents are both atheists and I'm circumcised for exactly that reason, not because God said so, not for cultural reasons but for the medical benefits.Brightt
On Twitter, many in Africa used
(Voluntary Medical Male Circumcision) to encourage men to get circumcised.
#VMMC a man's way to an AIDS-Free generation by @Dan Rutz @CDCgov @ENjeuhmeli @Jhpiego @PSI @KellyAnn_Curran
Celebrate w/ us as @mchipnet Tanzania hits 300,000 #VMMC's in support of Min of Health! An #HIV-prevention milestone!
#MaleCircumcision should be part of a comprehensive HIV prevention package. #VMMC #MDGMomentumPSI
#Malecircumcision is an #HIV prevention method involving men. Don’t forget another simple tool: the #ShangRing!
On panel with Prime Miniater: #Zimbabwe key implementing partner for national #MaleCircumcision. PSIHealthyLives #Prevention is Power #HIVashley judd
The Stream community discussed the practise of male circumcision.
@AJStream Male circumcision is unnecessary because there are effective, non-surgical ways to prevent & treat rare problems.BayArea Intactivists
@AJStream Reduces risk of HIV. Reduces penile cancer. Reduces cervical cancer in heterosexual couples. Promotes cleanliness and self esteem.Patrick Kaganzi
@AJStream Circumcision may reduce the risk of #developing a urinary tract infection (UTI),such as a bladder infection and Cancer of penisAhmad shehu muazu
@AJStream not at all! It's completely unnecessary in most cases when done as a child in the USA. It's cruel and irreversible.Tasha
Some shared their experiences with circumcision.
@AJStream yeah. I was circumcised some years ago.I felt nothing.I also witness that of younger brother. Its done when we are young.No pain.AM A NATION BUILDER.
@AJStream my Mother was Jewish. Yes to the question. No to the effects questions. yes to horrific bullying at boarding school afterwards.stephen young-durand
Many in Zimbabwe argued the pro-circumcision advertisements are misleading and give men a false sense of security against HIV transmission.
My understanding is that after, circumcision, one can then safely have unprotected sex @AJStream @263ChatRambai Makashinga
@ajstream @263chat I think the information disseminated to society is unbalanced in terms of the possible pros Vs cons of #circumcision.Nigel Kunaka
@AJStream @263Chat People now behave as if it's a pass to unprotected sex! #Faithfullness and #Protection better gospels to preach!Sir_Tino
@ElleDubG the radio ads are very misleading. They dont outrightly say circumcision prevents HIV but at the same time they are not clearlyThandekile M
Many agreed circumcision should be done at birth.
@AJStream it is better when circumcised at early age or at birth since its healthy and less risk involved due to the size and recovery.Adan baraka
@AJStream better to be circumcised. at around 3 to 4 years if it is cultural or as an adult if not, so that he can make the choice himself.Basic Lookin Nigga
@AJStream it is better at birth therefore less chances of complications as they grow up. This will assist in less Std's and HIV infection ►Sibusiso