Wednesday, August 26, 2009

To prevent spread of HIV, MOE to allow only circumcised males be given teaching jobs

Well, no. Not really. I just made that up. But the CDC in the United States is weighing whether to recommend routine circumcision for all babies born in the US in a bid to reduce the eventual rate of HIV infection, a controversial decision to be sure:
The topic is a delicate one that has already generated controversy, even though a formal draft of the proposed recommendations, due out from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention by the end of the year, has yet to be released.

Experts are also considering whether the surgery should be offered to adult heterosexual men whose sexual practices put them at high risk of infection. But they acknowledge that a circumcision drive in the United States would be unlikely to have a drastic impact: the procedure does not seem to protect those at greatest risk here, men who have sex with men.

Recently, studies showed that in African countries hit hard by AIDS, men who were circumcised reduced their infection risk by half. But the clinical trials in Africa focused on heterosexual men who are at risk of getting H.I.V. from infected female partners.
The opposite side of the debate is that this is a painful and cruel practice. Undoubtedly, I probably cried like a banshee when I underwent the process at the age of zero. Of course, I don't remember any of it and I'm just fine, except that I do have a lingering animosity toward my parents for some reason.

In South Korea, I believe, circumcision became routine, following the practices of the United States. There may also be a religious angle, what with the strong influence of Protestants and Catholics in South Korea. I'm not entirely sure, though, because when I go to the mogyoktang, I tend not to check out other people's junk.


  1. I've read on Dave's---take that for what it's worth---and I don't have the energy to look around for further information on my parents' computer, that many South Korean boys have the procedure in elementary and middle school. Why? I don't know.

    I don't think the gov't should be meddling in this.

  2. I have heard that as well, and I heard it long ago. That means it is true, it was true, it was true in at least a few cases, or none of the above.

    Non-infant circumcision is not unheard of. In fact, the Bible mentions cases of such. I don't know what the justification would be for waiting until later, except that it might be better performed with a more fully formed penis to prevent from cutting off something important, I suppose, but that's mere speculation.

    If they do/did do it in later childhood or later, I wonder if anesthetic was used. I don't think newborns get anesthetic for the procedure, not in the US anyway, but I could be wrong.

  3. a little impact probably yes, but if we are talking about the large proportion (population) involved, then it makes sense. I say, they should go for it


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