This is one of those things that actually shocks me -- I feel the anger rise up and then where to go with it? So, collapse back to the place of numb anger for the decisions that are made for political reason but that profoundly, irreversibly violate and harm others . .. this time men and young boys. All I can do in this moment is my sardonic reporting. Look at this child's tortured face -- he will never be the same. He is being brutalized .. . to prevent HIV in a country where children are soldiers in civil wars. I have to go cry.
Full article with my comments in red. Meanwhile, also in the news today -- the UN Peacekeeping trip to Sierra Leone:
Sierra Leone: UN Peacebuilding Commission Ends Maiden Field Trip With New Insights
The first-ever field mission from the new United Nations Peacebuilding Commission, set up to prevent countries emerging from civil war and other conflicts from slipping back into bloodshed, has returned from Sierra Leone with a clearer idea of the challenges now facing the once strife-torn state, the delegation leader said today.
The full story about circumscizing heterosexual males to prevent HIV:
U.N. health agencies recommended Wednesday that heterosexual men undergo circumcision because of "compelling" evidence that it can reduce their chances of contracting HIV' ;
I am so curious -- how many of these decision-makers are circumcised and if not, will they be? Did this child give "informed consent"? Did his parents? We can't spank a child without state involvement, but government can do this? This makes me nuts!
But World Health Organization' name experts said men need to be aware that circumcision is only partial protection against the virus and must be used with other measures.
It would be important to know what the other measures are -- my trust would be down.
"We must be clear," said Catherine Hankins of UNAIDS. "Male circumcision does not provide complete protection against HIV."
Reaaaally? Got it. Clear as day. I think we have learned what it is that causes HIV. And, so, is it worth what other issues it will create? Oh, say .. like, anger and volence?
Studies suggest 5.7 million new cases of HIV infection and 3 million deaths over 20 years could be prevented by male circumcision in sub-Saharan Africa, the agencies said.
Hmmm ... sorry, to be the realist, but so, where will these men live and work and care for the children they father who will die at an alarming rate?
The Bill Gates Foundation says that 1 billion, yep, that's ONE billion dollars spent in one African country to improve the health and environmental conditions to improve maternal and infant mortality rates could save 700,000 lives. WITHOUT BUILDING ONE HOSPITAL. Today, the cost of the war in Iraq is 413 billion.
Still, men and women who consider male circumcision as an HIV preventive method need to continue using other forms of protection such as male and female condoms, abstinence, delaying the start of sexual activity and reducing the number of sexual partners, she said.
Otherwise, they could develop a false sense of security and engage in high-risk behaviors that could undermine the partial protection provided by male circumcision, the agencies said.
Ah, ha ... would this be part of the "experiment"?
Men also should be warned that they are at a higher risk of being infected with HIV if they resume sex before their wound has healed. Likewise an HIV-positive man can more easily pass on the disease to his partner if the wound is still unhealed.
The recommendations were based on a meeting earlier this month in Montreux, Switzerland, where experts discussed three trials — in Kenya, Uganda and South Africa — that produced "strong evidence" of the risk reduction resulting from heterosexual male circumcision.
Riight... I bet the men will just line up at the door based on that proof. I wonder if they have a "choice" about it.
"Based on the evidence presented, which was considered to be compelling, experts attending the consultation recommended that male circumcision now be recognized as an additional important intervention to reduce the risk of heterosexually acquired HIV infection in men," a joint statement said.
The agencies said much depends on the situation in a given country, and little general benefit will result in countries where the HIV epidemic is concentrated among sex workers, injecting drug users or men who have sex with men.
This is where it is epidemic, but it will be good for everyone. Ok..... the ole "if it helps one (too bad for the thousands it hurts)".
The public health impact is likely to be most rapid where there is a high rate of HIV infection among men having sex with women.
"It was therefore recommended that countries with high prevalence, generalized heterosexual HIV epidemics that currently have low rates of male circumcision consider urgently scaling up access to male circumcision services," the agencies said.
More study is needed to determine whether male circumcision will cut the transmission of HIV to women.
God, help us!
More study also is required to find out whether male circumcision will reduce HIV infection in homosexual intercourse, it said, but it said promoting circumcision of HIV-positive men was not recommended.
"The recommendations represent a significant step forward in HIV prevention," said Dr. Kevin De Cock, director of WHO's HIV/ AIDS' AIDS department. "Countries with high rates of heterosexual HIV infection and low rates of male circumcision now have an additional intervention which can reduce the risk of HIV infection in heterosexual men."
Increasing male circumcision in areas where it the procedure is rare will result in immediate benefit to the men circumcised, but it will take years before there will be an impact on the epidemic.
"Immediate benefit ... it will be years before there will be an impact on the epidemic." We'll see what happens in other areas of living.
Although the rate of circumcision varies considerably from country to country, globally an estimated 665 million men, or 30 percent of men in the world, are circumcised, the statement said.
The agencies said the risks involved in male circumcision are generally low, but can be serious if the operation is performed in unhygienic settings by poorly trained, ill-equipped health workers.
Ah, say, like in Africa?
Priority should be given to providing circumcision to age groups at highest risk of acquiring HIV because it will have the most immediate impact on the disease. But, it said, circumcising younger males also will have a public health impact over the longer term.
It gave no estimate how much providing the service would cost, but said more money would be needed, but that donors should regard it as "an important, evidence-based intervention."
NO estimate for the cost!?!? WHO is deciding this and WHO the h*** is paying for this? WHO's F**king agenda is this?!? Well, I am sure it must be much more cost effective as well as science-based -- these things always are, you know. And, of course, if it saves one person ....
Call me a cynic ... but is the US involved and is there oil in Africa? Seems more like an effort to create a new havoc, and oops, so many died of infection, and now the violence and rape have gone up.
Does hearing and reading news like this make anyone else boil? Such moments of disbelief and dispair as what is happening to others.