This morning I awakened to the good news published in the “New York Times” via the article, Circumcision Halves H.I.V. Risk, U.S. Agency Finds, that U.S. Government health officials, specifically, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, a branch of the National Institutes of Health, have found circumcision “appears to reduce a man’s risk of contracting AIDS from heterosexual sex by half.” The good news is supported by an editorial in the opinion section entitled Rare Good News About AIDS.

There are several intriguing statements in the article.

The first intriguing statement provides the reason the studies were halted, that reason being “not offering circumcision to all the men taking part would be unethical.”

The second intriguing statement is None were infected with H.I.V.

The third intriguing statement comes in the form of “They were divided into circumcised and uncircumcised groups, given safe sex advice (although many presumably did not take it), and retested regularly. ”

The article states the studies were conducted on “nearly” 3,000 heterosexual males in Kenya and 5,000 men in Uganda, which gives rise to the fourth intriguing statement which lists 22 of 1,393 circumcised men who participated in the Kenyan study caught the disease, while 47 out of 1,391 uncircumcised men caught the disease.

Although the article raises many more questions than it answers, I have just one humble question:

Why was a medical study conducted with the goal of fighting a 20th century disease premised upon archaic medical thought and practice steeped in religious dogma?

This post may also be found at Truewater2’s Spot.

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