Letter to US Global AIDS Coordinator, Washington DC

Office of the Global AIDS Coordinator
SA-29, 2nd floor
2201 C. Street NW
Washington, DC  20522-2920

Dear Global AIDS Coordinator,

I know for certain that many American and World Citizens are horrified and appalled by the thing that this article on your web log is talking about:


It reveals something about what you really are that you do not allow uncensored comments to be posted there. I guarantee there are links to that page with plenty of commentary by We The People whom you've been blatantly ignoring. You do not have our permission to use our tax dollars for any HIV prevention program involving genital mutilation. I am certain that I speak for a growing contingent of the American population. CDC statistics show that fewer and fewer Americans are allowing their son's penises to be mutilated. Many Americans no longer trust the corporate hospital birthing system. It's no wonder.

It is certain that circumcision does not prevent HIV, which is most famously caused by having intimate contact with an infected individual. I've read that iatrogenic HIV infection rates are very high in Africa. Teaching them to masturbate will do more for preventing HIV than amputating the men's foreskins will. Amputating the most sensitive part of their bodies in an attempt to make sexuality less interesting will not prevent them from ‘‘doing it.'' It hasn't worked here in the United States. Why would it work in Africa?

(Reuters) - Circumcision may reduce a man's risk of infection with the AIDS virus by up to 60 percent if he is an African, but it does not appear to help American men of color, U.S. researchers reported on Monday.
Black and Latino men were just as likely to become infected with the AIDS virus whether they were circumcised or not, Greg Millett of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found.
"We also found no protective benefit for a subset of black MSM (men who have sex with men) who also had recent sex with female partners," Millett told reporters in a telephone briefing.
Doctors believe circumcision protects men because of specialized cells in the foreskin of the penis, which is removed in the procedure. The foreskin is filled with immune cells called Langerhans cells, which are the immune system's sentinels and attach easily to viruses — including HIV.
In addition, sexual intercourse may cause tiny tears in the foreskin, allowing the virus into the bloodstream.
The data has been so clear that the World Health Organization now recommends circumcision as one of the ways to prevent HIV infection. But circumcision does not protect men 100 percent -- the studies in Africa have suggested it is 50 to 60 percent protective.
Millett's team studied 1,079 black and 957 Latino bisexual and homosexual men from New York City, Los Angeles, and Philadelphia. They filled out a computer survey and were tested for the AIDS virus.
"Overall, we found no association between circumcision status and HIV infection status among black or Latino (men who have sex with men)," said Millett, who presented his findings to the CDC's National HIV Prevention Conference in Atlanta.
Experts knew circumcision would not protect a female sex partner, nor the male sex partner being penetrated.
But Millett's study found no benefit of circumcision to any of the men. "We also found no protective benefit of circumcision among those men reporting recent unprotected sex with a male partner in which they were exclusively the insertive male partner," he said.
HIV is much more common among black and Latino men than whites and this may offset any protection offered by circumcision, Millett said. Black and Latino men are more likely to have sex with other black and Latino men, and thus may be exposed to HIV more often than white men.
The CDC is about to release new estimates of how many people become infected with the fatal and incurable human immunodeficiency virus each year in the United States.
The CDC estimates that more than 1 million Americans are infected, of the 33 million infected people globally.
The Langerhans cells probably prevent HIV. They bring the virus inside in order to destroy it, before it can affect the DNA of other cells it enters. So amputating the foreskin is likely to increase the HIV rate, not decrease it.

"Multiple logistic regressions were constructed separately to evaluate the role of circumcision in the acquisition of HIV and STI. Conclusions: [circumcision] is not associated with HIV or STI prevention in this U. S. military population."
Prevalence of male circumcision and its association with HIV and sexually transmitted infections in a U.S. navy population
Thomas AG, Bakhireva LN, Brodine SK, Shaffer RA; International Conference on AIDS (15th : 2004 : Bangkok, Thailand).
Int Conf AIDS. 2004 Jul 11-16; 15: abstract no. TuPeC4861. Naval Health Research Center, DHAPP, San Diego, CA, United States
Background: Lack of male circumcision has been found to be a risk factor for HIV and sexually transmitted infection (STI) in several studies performed in developing countries. However, the few studies conducted in developed nations have yielded inconsistent results. Policy regarding circumcision of male infants as a prevention measure against HIV/STI remains a controversial topic. This study describes the prevalence of circumcision and its association with HIV and STI in a U. S. military population.
Methods: This is a case-control study of male HIV infected U. S. military personnel (n= 232) recruited from 7 military medical centers and male U. S. Navy controls (n=516) from a general aircraft carrier population. Cases and controls completed similar self-administered HIV behavioral risk surveys. Case circumcision status was abstracted from medical charts while control status was reported on the survey. Cases and controls were frequency matched on age. Multiple logistic regressions were constructed separately to evaluate the role of circumcision in the acquisition of HIV and STI.
Results: The proportion of circumcised men did not significantly differ between cases (84.9%) and controls (81.8%). Prevalence of circumcision among men born in the U. S. was higher (85.0%) than those born elsewhere (58.1%). After adjustment for demographic and behavioral risk factors lack of circumcision was not found to be a risk factor for HIV (OR = 0.9; 95% CI: 0.51, 1.7) or STI (OR = 1.08; 95% CI 0.52, 2.26). The odds of HIV infection were 2.6 higher for irregular condom users, 5 times as high for those reporting STI, 6.2 times higher for those reporting anal sex, 2.8-3.2 times higher for those with 2-7+ partners, nearly 3 times higher for Blacks, and 3.5 times as high for men who were single or divorced/separated.
Conclusions: Although there may be other medical or cultural reasons for male circumcision, it is not associated with HIV or STI prevention in this U. S. military population.
There are many critiques of the studies that allege that circumcision prevents HIV infection. The fact is, amputating part of the body's integumentary system is obviously not a good way to prevent infection. It is quite the opposite. The United States has the highest HIV rate in the industrialized world, and also has the highest circumcision rate. You need to read more than just the few ‘‘studies'' written by the circumfetishists who enjoy amputating the most sensitive part of other men's bodies. They delight in rendering other men impotent. This circumcision campaign is a vaguely masked act of violence against males. It amounts to an act of war — a war of agression — against those nations. Sooner or later, they are going to learn the truth, whether you like it or not, even if you censor their Anatomy textbooks to cut the foreskin out of the picture. The mere use of anesthesia does not render the act ‘‘non-violent,'' nor does performing it in a hospital or clinical setting render it a ‘‘medical procedure.'' Using anesthesia adds insult to injury — he'll never feel a thing… after you amputate 50 to 80 percent of the sensitive nerve endings from his penis.

‘‘Circumcision'' is a deprecated euphemism for the atrocity that is more accurately referred to as ‘‘Male Genital Mutilation.'' It is the wanton amputation of a normal, healthy, functioning body part, which is certainly a second degree felony under Utah Statute 76-5-105, ‘‘Mayhem.'' Infant Genital Mutilation also certainly falls under 76-5-109, ‘‘Child Abuse''. In particular, the following definitions given under 76-5-109(1) can be easily shown to be applicable:
  •  76-5-109(1)(f)(i)(B). ‘‘involves physical torture''
  •  76-5-109(1)(f)(i)(G). ‘‘any conduct toward a child that results in severe emotional harm, [...] or severe impairment of the child's ability to function,'' and
  •  76-5-109(1)(f)(i)(H). ‘‘any injury that creates a permanent disfigurement or protracted loss or impairment of the function of a bodily member, limb, or organ.''
Given the true and factual information about the anatomy and physiological function of the male prepuce explained by the D.O.C. Policy Statement, along with the above definitions from the Utah Statutes, Child Abuse 76-5-109(2)(a) makes Infant Male Genital Mutilation a second degree felony. Other illegal acts involved include the inchoate offense of Solicitation for Conspiracy to commit, Fraud by Deception, and Omission or failure to act. Genital Mutilation is not a ‘‘rite.'' It is a crime. Further, because this brutally harmful atrocity has seen such widespread and systematic practice in the United States of America, it truly fits the definition of a ‘‘Crime Against Humanity'' as defined by the Rome Statute Explanatory Memorandum, which defines the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court. The Rome Statute recognizes rape, sexual slavery, forced prostitution, forced pregnancy, forced sterilization, "or any other form of sexual violence of comparable gravity" as crime against humanity if the action is part of a widespread or systematic practice.

Crimes against humanity, as defined by the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court Explanatory Memorandum, ‘‘ are particularly odious offenses in that they constitute a serious attack on human dignity or grave humiliation or a degradation of one or more human beings. They are not isolated or sporadic events, but are part either of a government policy (although the perpetrators need not identify themselves with this policy) or of a wide practice of atrocities tolerated or condoned by a government or a de facto authority. Murder; extermination; torture; rape; political, racial, or religious persecution and other inhumane acts reach the threshold of crimes against humanity only if they are part of a widespread or systematic practice. Isolated inhumane acts of this nature may constitute grave infringements of human rights, or depending on the circumstances, war crimes, but may fall short of falling into the category of crimes under discussion. ''
The United States of America justified the invasion of Iraq, in part, by citing the crimes committed by Saddam Hussein's regime---e.g. the use of poison gas against the Kurdish people. If that war was justifiable, then perhaps it is reasonable to consider Male Genital Mutilation to be a threat to U.S. National Security. It does not require very many steps of reasoning to cross the border between U.S. actions in Iraq and forseeing a large posse entering within this country to do battle against these domestic violations of human rights. Fortunately, this is not a battle likely to be won with the use of destructive weaponry. Violence is the problem, not the solution. Furthermore, if our own citizens, law enforcement, and courts will not acknowledge Genital Mutilation as an atrocious crime, then certainly our ‘‘government'', guilty of selective enforcement of it's own laws, faces a very serious legitimation crisis. We can no longer live in denial of this obvious threat to our health and welfare. We need to look the serpent in the eye, see it for what it is, and help it to become entire and whole again. We must end the cycle of violence by refusing to continue to inflict pain and deprivation upon each new generation, and by protecting infants from those who would continue this atrocity.

I encourage you to do much more reading before you implement such drastic measures. What you are doing to those men in Swaziland is highly offensive to the majority of the population of planet earth. It is a violation of international treaties that prohibit torture and crimes against humanity. HIV can be more effectively prevented with sex education and condoms.