Posted by: Mer Pints | June 4, 2008

Manay mababawasan na ang mga supot sa Kenya (Circumcision to Prevent AIDS)

A Kenyan woman and children from Flikr

(A Kenyan woman and children from Flickr)

Nowadays, male Kenyans are voluntary submitting themselves for circumcision, a Jewish Biblical tradition that is also adopted by the Filipinos long time ago. While Filipinos fear of being ridiculed if they are not yet circumcised, Kenyans on the other hand fear AIDS that they want to be circumcised. Study in Western Kenya shows that infection is cut by 60% among men who had been circumcised. Still this has to be supplemented by further studies to accept such findings.

Ayon, kaya pala nagpaptule na ang mga papa sa Kenya ay dahil sa paniwalang hindi sila kakapitan pa ng sakit na AIDS kapag nagpatule. Kung gayon hindi na lang sa mga Pinoy nauuso ang tule; ano pa e di mababawasan na rin sa mga Aprikano ang supot?. Bagamat hindi nila ito tradisyon, hindi ikinahihiya ng pagiging supot kagaya ng mga Filipino, marami na sa mga Kenyan ang nahihikayat na magpatule upang ligtas sila sa AIDS. Totoo kaya ang kasabihan na “AIDS does not matter for as long as you are not supot? Pero ligtas kaya si mister kapag nahuli siya ni misis na nambababae? He-he, mga mama itago na ninyo ang inyong mga duster baka gamitin pa iyan ni papa na bagong tule.

Ano kaya ang feeling ni Manay kung punit na ang kapote ni Manoy?

Male circumcision gains as Kenya anti-AIDS weapon

KISUMU, Kenya – Sitting underneath the bright murals at a clinic, 22-year-old Elijah Ochanda gestures at his shorts and explains: “When they remove this thing, it makes you safer.”

He is talking about the circumcision he is about to undergo at the urging of his older brother. He has watched several friends die of AIDS, and has come to believe the science that says circumcision can prevent men from being infected.

Dr. Robert Bailey, an epidemiology professor from the University of Illinois, is helping to roll out Kenya’s first free circumcision project, which offers operations at public health facilities. Such projects are already running in Swaziland, Rwanda and Zambia, other countries where a large percentage of the population traditionally do not circumcise.

Bailey’s study in Kisumu, western Kenya found infection rates were cut by 60 percent among men who were circumcised. The study, funded by the U.S. Institutes of Health and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, was one of several that led the World Health Organization to include circumcision in its prevention policies a year ago.

It prompted the Kenyan government to form a task force to promote voluntary, medically safe operations.

But it’s not that simple. Circumcision has become entangled in the violence that followed the disputed presidential election last December.

Supporters of President Mwai Kibaki, whose Kikuyu tribe circumcises its men, clashed with supporters of opposition leader Raila Odinga, who is Luo, a tribe that does not circumcise. The rite took on political significance, with Odinga’s rivals publicly saying he wasn’t a complete man. Many Luo were forcibly circumcised in the violence.

The violence has subsided, but Bailey says it has made the new power-sharing government, with Odinga as prime minister, wary of taking a public stance on circumcision. The disruption initially delayed the launch of the task force’s program.

Still, it’s noteworthy that Ochanda has overcome the tradition issue in opting for circumcision. And the Luo tribe’s council of elders doesn’t forbid it outright although they do say it is contrary to their traditions and worry it will promote promiscuity.

“If you want to do that on your own, no one will question you, but it is not our custom,” said elder Odungi Randa. – AP




  1. Circumcision can only possibly help men who have unsafe sex with HIV+ partners, so why this bizarre obsession with genital surgery when we know that ABC works better than circumcision ever could? (ABC=Abstinence, Being Faithful, Condoms).
    The studies which allegedly show a reduction in HIV among circumcised men are highly questionable. Not one of them was finished, despite the protective affect appearing to decline well below the oft-reported 65%, and several of the subjects disappeared. The fact that one study described circumcision as “comparable to a vaccine of high efficacy” seems to show clear bias. They appear to have been seeking a certain result. One has to wonder how many of the people promoting circumcision in Africa are themselves circumcised. Daniel Halperin is the grandson of a mohel, so his objectivity is questionable.
    Other epidemiological studies have shown no correlation between HIV and circumcision, but rather with the numbers of sex workers, or the prevalence of “dry sex”.
    The two continents with the highest rates of AIDS are the same two continents with the highest rates of male circumcision. Rwanda has almost double the rate of HIV in circed men than intact men, yet they’ve just started a nationwide circumcision campaign. . Other countries where circumcised men are *more* likely to be HIV+ are Cameroon, Ghana, Lesotho, Malawi, and Tanzania. Something is very wrong here. These people aren’t interested in fighting HIV, but in promoting circumcision (or sometimes anything-but-condoms), and their actions will cost lives.
    Circumcised male virgins are more likely to be HIV+ than intact male virgins, as the operation sometimes infects men. The latest news is that circumcised HIV+ men are more likely to transmit the virus to women than intact HIV+ men (even after the healing period is over). Eight additional women appear to have been infected during that study, solely because their husbands were circumcised.

    Female circumcision seems to protect against HIV too btw, but we wouldn’t investigate cutting off women’s labia, and then start promoting that.

  2. Hi Mark, thank you for the brilliant comment. It is very informative. Thank you also for the visit. You are always welcome here.

  3. Circumcision is protective because the foreskin contains many Langerhans cells, which are immune cells that HIV targets. By removing the foreskin those Langerhans cells are removed, and thus it is more difficult, but not impossible, for HIV to enter the body. Of course, male circumcision will not prevent any HIV infections that are acquired during receptive anal sex or via injection drug use, but it does appear to decrease HIV acquisition among heterosexual men by 60%. It is unclear whether circumcision is protective for men engaging in insertive anal sex, but the assumption is that since it is protective for men engaging in vaginal intercourse, then it may also be protective for men engaging in insertive anal sex.

  4. All the studies about the effect of circumcision and AIDS were done in 3rd world African countries. The sexual habits and cleaning habits of 3rd world African countries is much different than in an industrial country like the US where daily showers are the norm, not the exception.

  5. Jesus and his disciples were observant Jews, therefore circumcised.”

    Jesus also was crucified. Do you recommend that little cutting for all Christian males? Many of the disciples were martyred too. Recommend it? And how do you know all the disciples were circumcised? Did you check under their garments? Circumcision has never been universal among Jews. That’s why the priests tried to make it universal with the “covenant” in Genesis 17; Genesis 15, from the earliest days of written Hebrew, has the same covenant without any reference to circumcision. Hundreds, maybe thousands, of years later the Priests added Genesis 17, WITH the circumcision covenant, at a time when they were trying to consolidate and expand their control over the Hewbrew people.

  6. St Paul’s admonition that Christians can’t be justified by following the old laws, but must adopt faith and love as the basis of their faith. He tells Christians they will be cut off from Christ if they try to please God with circumcision. Christians of Europe do not practice circumcision. Most of the Christians of the Middle East, surrounded by Jews and Muslims, do not circumcise, though it might help them “fit in” better. They consider it an essential of faith to forego the cut.

  7. Studies conducted on the correlation between circumcision and HIV prevention show some remarkable results; circumcision is known to reduce the risk of HIV infection “two-to-eight fold.” The reasons for these protective effect however have been unclear.

    The Langerhan cells found in the foreskin (and other parts of the body) are and entry points for HIV infections. In a study with circumcision however shows also that Langerhan cells may also block HIV’s entry in some cases.

    Male circumcision does not provide complete protection against HIV.

  8. According to World Health Organization, and UNAIDS, male circumcision should only be a part of a comprehensive HIV prevention package, which includes the provision of HIV testing and counseling services; treatment to sexually transmitted infection; the promotion of safer sex practices; and the provision of male and female condoms.

    Men and women who consider male circumcision as an HIV preventive method must continue to use other forms of protection such as male and female condoms, delaying sexual debut, and reducing the number of sexual partners.

  9. nice blog… many… documents

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