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Introducing circumcision into a society will not prevent HIV infection

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Introducing male neonatal circumcision into a non-circumcising society will almost certainly not prevent HIV infection and, in any case, needs to be undertaken with extreme care.

In a critique of a paper proposing to introduce the practice into Botswana the author shows that the idea of HIV prevention through circumcision is based on false premises. In his opinion, the reliance on circumcision to prevent HIV infection can only result in a calamitous worsening on the HIV-AIDS epidemic as it fails to place the main emphasis for prevention on safe sex.

Issues relating to circumcision include medical, psychological, sexual, and social effects, human rights, ethical, and legal aspects that must be considered and that the author explains in detail.

The practice of neonatal circumcision in certain Eastern countries, such as the United States, is to the author not a valid reason for introducing it into Botswana. Once started circumcision tends to persist even when the need is over, as is exemplified by many countries, where it is proving difficult to eradicate.

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