CIRCUMCISION WOES. ...

CIRCUMCISION WOES. So try this on for culturally sensitive size: Among the cheapest, easiest, and most effective strategies for reducing AIDS transmission in a populace is to circumcise the men. In South Africa, studies have shown that circumcised groups have transmission rates that are up to 60 percent lower than the average rate. The problem is how do you explain that while circumcision reduces risk, it doesn't end it? How do you keep it from becoming an excuse not to use condoms? How do you separate it from "female circumsions," a mutilating procedure with no known health benefits? How do you train the doctors, nurses, and faith healers on a continent lacking sufficient medical personnel? Trickiest of all, how do you convince grown men to chop off their foreskins?

And yet, with HIV/AIDS blossoming into one of the most devastating plagues we've seen in generations and circumcision proving a cheap and effective weapon in reducing its prevalence, how do you not?

--Ezra Klein

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