Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Regarding Male Circumcision

Male circumcision is an issue discussed in the MSS house a couple of times in recent years (2000, 2009).  One resolution was a request for CEJA to investigate the implications of such a practice and the other asked for our section to oppose the practice.  Both were not adopted as policy, though I remember significant heated testimony on the issue.

It's not just the MSS that's been dealing with the issue.  The discussion has taken place in many states across the country and the AAP is readdressing their current policy (that circumcision may have some health benefits, but that data doesn't necessarily support routine circumcision).

This week, JAMA published an commentary no the issue with some interesting public health arguments.  In brief:  imagine a vaccine that would reduce the risk of HIV transmission by 60% (verified in 3 RCTs) and reduce the risk of herpes and high risk HPV transmission by roughly 30%.  That would be huge news!  The authors argue with these and several other points that male circumcision does in fact have a significant long-term pubic health benefits.  With the publication of new data to this end over the past few years, they encourage everyone to take a new look at the body of data before coming to conclusions on the practice.  Read the rest of the article here:

JAMA.2011;306(13):1479-1480. doi:10.1001/jama.2011.1431

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