Just Cuttin’ Up

Wednesday, July 6th, 2005 | Uncategorized

So French and South African AIDS researchers have found that HIV infection rates are lower among circumcised men. In Africa, there’s a 5% infection rate in countries that practice circumcision, versus 30% in countries that don’t. Is male genital mutilation now going to be recommended as a deterrent to infection? Like, what about condoms or reruns of Donnie & Marie? I remember the good old days of 1984, when living in the Castro was like living on the set of a George Romero film. The horror aside, it was amazing how the community responded with explicit information about how the virus was at that time understood to be transmitted, and real ways to protect oneself. Okay, okay, I remember the stuff about fisting and French kissing, but still, the point is that the community responded very quickly, making condoms available for free, printing posters of hot naked men wearing nothing but condoms, handing out SAFE/UNSAFE lists, offering free HIV testing… The government, meanwhile, insisted that abstinence was the only way to avoid infection. In other words, pretend to be something other than a human, and you won’t get infected.

So this new bit of information about circumcision–which isn’t that new, since we’ve know about it for some time through smaller studies–doesn’t really bug me, science is science, but how it’s put to use raises concerns. I thought the government’s stance on abstinence was, and is, backwards in that it places morality before fact. Now we have facts that are going to result in the loss of countless precious pleasure neurons. Make condoms and information accessible so people can make informed decisions about how to avoid infection before chopping up our gentle-talia.

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