Gut Rumbles

September 25, 2005

more "science"

I am not circumcised. I've never had a sexually transmitted disease in my life. I don't put a whole lot of stock in this story.

The Soweto study, was conducted by French researchers between 2002 and 2005 with more than 3,000 healthy, sexually active males between 18 and 24. About half the volunteers were circumcised by medical professionals, and the rest remained uncircumcised.

All the men received counseling on AIDS prevention. But after 21 months, 51 members of the uncircumcised group had contracted HIV, the AIDS virus, while only 18 members of the circumcised group had gotten the disease.

Well... those findings obviously prove SOMETHING, don't they? I'm not certain what it is, but it's got to be important. I do have one question to ask: If all the people in the study underwent counceling on AIDS prevention, why did ANY of them catch the disease?

Yep. It's all about circumcision.


Well, if the circumcisions were performed with a hatchet, I'd kinda think the chance of catching AIDS would be substantially reduced.

Posted by: Bogdaddy on September 25, 2005 09:55 AM

If all the men in the study group had unprotected sex with the same group of women then I 'd say there's a statistical significance. Otherwise, it's just a non sequitur.

Posted by: Ralph Gizzip on September 25, 2005 10:23 AM

Rob, I watched one of those medical shows on the Discovery Channel, or something like that. As part of a medical study, they removed the foreskins from healthy adult males. They subjected the foreskin tissue and cadaver penile tissue to the HIV virus. They found that the foreskin tissue allowed penetration by the virus at a dramatically higher rate that the other penile tissue. They proposed that THAT is the reason that circumcised men got the HIV virus at a lower rate. I'll do some quick research and see if I can find a link to the story.

Posted by: Robin on September 25, 2005 12:32 PM

I'd have to see what the control was on the two groups levels of education or income. If there was a high correllation between circumcision and being higher income/education I would have to say that an outside variable affected the study

Posted by: Dpatten on September 25, 2005 01:17 PM

all this study proves is that boys will be boys and you can't teach an old dog new tricks.

On the science side, there are any number of reasons why uncircumcised males are more at risk, from the penetrance of the foreskin to the increased length of contact of disease with the penis when germs get under the foreskin. Still, the transmission rates are low and are decreased by good hygiene, which is why so few men in the study actually contracted the disease.

Posted by: caltechgirl on September 25, 2005 02:13 PM

If you have never caught a sexually transmitted disease it just means you haven't been trying hard enough.

Better pump up the machine and get cracking!

Posted by: Robert on September 25, 2005 03:05 PM

Actually, I think at the end of the day this particular issue may wind up a draw.

Obviously there have been many thriving cultures who routinely circumsize, and many who don't.

Generally speaking, the route that leads to cutting into a healthy organ should be avoided. In medical ethics it is generally known as "mutilation".

However, perhaps, in this particular case, there are some advantages that offset the many potential disadvantages, so perhaps, as long as each respective culuture is using good sense, it is best to leave this one up to local preference.

Posted by: Axinar on September 25, 2005 05:03 PM

I did a Google search. I found the study that I spoke of above. There are many studies that found too many variables to make a firm connection between circumcision and HIV. There was LOTS of info and my eyes are crossed from trying to get through it!

Posted by: Robin on September 25, 2005 07:16 PM

Traditional practices usually have some kind of rational reason behind them.

I'm willing to believe there's a scientific reason why men have had their foreskins lopped off for thousands of years...

Posted by: anon on September 25, 2005 07:36 PM

More "junk" science...they just had to get a report out to continue their grant money.

No one's mentioned that it might have been a while before any of the men who had the procedure were EVEN HAVING SEX.... from what I've heard it's a real "owieeee" getting it down as an adult!

Posted by: Maggie on September 25, 2005 08:05 PM

I kind of think circumcision is not going to be any part of the answer.

The AIDS epidemic in Africa is spread mostly because of ignorance and superstition. The treatment of choice is to fuck a virgin. That gets rid of the bad ju-ju, you see.

The main cause of AIDS transmission is idiots who stick their dicks into anything warm.

Posted by: Gerry N. on September 25, 2005 08:06 PM

They found that the foreskin tissue allowed penetration by the virus at a dramatically higher rate that the other penile tissue.

That's about as sound a concept as global warming. HIV doesn't "penetrate" any skin simply by being in contact with it. It needs to be introduced into the blood stream somehow. That only happens via unprotected sex, or some method of infected blood being introduced into the body, such as via a hypodermic.

Unless sewn shut, a circumcised dick isn't any less likely to contact AIDS through unprotected sex than one that isn't.

Posted by: Mr. Lion on September 25, 2005 08:50 PM

The study only shows that the people who had half their peckers cut off quit having as much sex, therefore less aids. If I had half my pecker cut off, I wouldn't be engaging in sex for quite some time.

Posted by: Lee on September 25, 2005 08:54 PM

I'll bet if they factored in the average rate of recovery amongst the circumcised group (until they were actually able to have normal regular sexual activity -- one would think it'd be at least 4-6 weeks -- but I'm a girl so what do I know -- I'm just guessing here) and then added that time frame onto the twentyone months of the study --say another month or two and I'm thinking they'd be pretty close to equal.
And what Gerry & Mr Lion said.

Posted by: Marianne on September 25, 2005 10:55 PM

Brings a new light to, "Why not just cut off your head."

Posted by: 2far2care on September 26, 2005 12:12 AM

You probably wash your dick every now and then. They don't.

Posted by: roux on September 26, 2005 01:53 PM

As CalTechGirl says, (as an afterthought,) it is truely A-Maze-Zing what a little mild soap and water will do.

Hey, Stoooopid...........wyant ya wash dat ting mon?

A 4skin is a very valuable body part. It actually has a funtion............DUH! Imagine that! God, (or natural selection; take your pick,) made that a design elemen of the male anatomy. In case you missed it there are Other Animals that sport a 4skin.

Just take a peek....... sometime soon, y'all

Posted by: wes jackson on September 27, 2005 02:27 AM
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