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reality of circumcision vs. HIV
Oct 9, 2006

I am writing this letter in response to an article I saw on your website. (http://www.thebody.com/Forums/AIDS/SafeSex/Current/Q177936.html) in regards to a connection between circumcision and prevention of HIV. Although not a question, I sincerely hope you will post this comment.

The association between circumcision and AIDS began in 1986, when the late California urologist and circumcision promoter Aaron J. Fink proposed that the keratinization damage caused by male circumcision would prevent HIV infection. A number of studies on the subject have been conducted in Africa since that time.

Results from studies linking male circumcision and AIDS are conflicting and inconclusive. The much discussed Auvert Study concluded that circumcision reduced HIV transmission in South African men by 63% over a period of 21 months, but the study was widely criticized for having a number of easily spotted flaws in methodology, and for its overly optimistic conclusions. The multi-country Mishra study concluded that circumcision may actually increase transmission of the AIDS virus, however, which is what most earlier studies found.

What many do not understand about circumcision is that it significantly reduces the sensitivity and pleasure of sex. In fact, it changes the entire dynamic of both masturbation and sexual intercourse. I can tell you for a fact that my circumcision which was performed at birth has significantly reduced my sexual pleasure. My sensitivity is so weakened that I can not even maintain an erection when wearing the sheerest of lubricated condoms. For this reason, I have given up using them all together. There is no doubt in my mind that my circumcision has actually increased my chances of contracting HIV.

-John N. Grand Rapids, MI

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello John,

Whoa! Hang on there a moment, Johnny-Boy! Let's set the record straight and place blame only where it truly belongs, OK?

First off, the studies about male circumcision are still ongoing, as I have mentioned many times in this forum. We are still a long way off from recommending circumcision as an effective means for HIV prevention. Please reread my comments in the archives.

Next, one wonders how you know "for a fact" that circumcision reduces your sexual pleasure, considering you were clipped at birth!!! Were you jacking off during labor and delivery before the mohel got there???

Next, erectile dysfunction is common, as you can tell from all the Viagra and Cialis commercials on the television. Often failure to keep your woody stiff turns out to be performance anxiety related to putting the condom on properly. Sure, a layer of latex can slightly decrease sensitivity, but there are ways around that, including adding a Vitamin V (Viagra) to your foreplay.

Finally, blaming circumcision for your idiotic decision to forego condoms makes as much sense as Dubya blaming Iraq and Saddam Hussein for 9/11. I'll also add your decision, just like Dubya's, will result in a tragic and very avoidable catastrophe. The decision to play sexual Russian roulette is yours and yours alone.

Dr. Bob



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