News / Health

American Pediatrics Group Cites Benefits Of Male Circumcision

American Pediatrics Group Cites Benefits Of Male Circumcisioni
|| 0:00:00
X
Carol Pearson
August 30, 2012 12:09 AM
Circumcision for baby boys was a common practice in the United States but, in the past several years, many parents and health insurance companies have decided against it claiming it was not be medically necessary. Now, a group of American pediatricians says the health benefits of male circumcision outweigh its risks. VOA's Carol Pearson. reports.

American Pediatrics Group Cites Benefits Of Male Circumcision

Carol Pearson
Circumcision for baby boys was a common practice in the United States but, in the past several years, many parents and health insurance companies have decided against it claiming it was not be medically necessary. Now, a group of American pediatricians says the health benefits of male circumcision outweigh its risks.

In many African countries, adult men are getting circumcised to stop the spread of HIV. That's because research shows that male circumcision can protect both men and their female partners from AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases.

The World Health Organization concluded that universal male circumcision in sub-Saharan Africa could prevent close to six million new cases of HIV infection and 3 million deaths over a 20 year period.

Dr. Aaron Tobian, a pathologist with Johns Hopkins Medicine, studied the health and economic impact of circumcision.  "Three randomized trials which are the gold standard of our medical evidence, have shown that male circumcision reduces HIV, genital herpes and human papillomavirus that causes penile cancer," he said.

In Judaism, male circumcision is obligatory.  For Muslims, it's recommended. In other cultures, it's a rite of passage into manhood. During the procedure the foreskin is cut from the penis. Many Americans say male circumcision is unnecessary. Some insurance plans, both private and public, no longer pay for the procedure.

The American Academy of Pediatricians recently issued a statement supporting the procedure. "The task force came to the conclusion that circumcision is cost effective.  Although it costs money to circumcise a baby boy, it also saves health costs related to the reduction in sexually transmitted diseases," said one of the group's task force members, Dr. Douglas Diekema.
 
The pediatric group did not recommend routine male circumcision, but it did say the procedure should be covered by insurance. A study by Dr. Tobian validates the group's findings.
 
"What we found is that just the current rate of decrease of male circumcision from 79 percent to 55 percent over the last 20 years, will increase the United States' health care expenditures by about $2 billion," Tobian said.

Doctors say complications from male circumcision on infants are rare and usually minor. They also say baby boys have far fewer complications than men or boys do when they get circumcised later on.

You May Like

Video British Fighters on Frontline of Islamic State Information War

It’s estimated that several hundred British citizens are fighting for Islamic State alongside other foreign jihadists More

Pakistan's Political Turmoil Again Shines Spotlight on Military

Thousands of protesters calling for PM Sharif to step down continue protests in front of parliament, as critics fear political impasse could spur another military coup More

Photogallery Ebola Quarantines Spark Anxiety in Liberian Capital

Food prices rise sharply as residents attempting purchases clash with security forces, leaving one person dead More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: hjkl from: Tasmania, Australia
September 07, 2012 4:00 AM
A state in Australia is currently considering law to protect the legality of religious circumcision:
https://theconversation.edu.au/tasmanian-report-calls-for-groundbreaking-reform-of-circumcision-law-9105


by: Mike from: California
September 02, 2012 1:35 PM
So let me get this straight: Genital mutilization is OK because it seems to provide a slight reduction in sexually transmitted diseases among people who have lots of unprotected sex with lots of partners. Hmmm . . . Well, I suppose that is a nice revenue generator for the medical community, but how about teaching every child, male and female, how to properly use condoms and make them freely available? There would also be the benefit of unwanted pregnancy becoming rare and a slow reduction in unsustainable population levels. Just a thought.

P.S. I wish we could comment on all VOA stories.


by: Mark Lyndon from: Manchester, UK
August 30, 2012 9:44 AM
It's really easy to find circumcised doctors who are against circumcision, but surprisingly difficult to find male doctors in favor who weren't circumcised themselves as children. The AAP are way out of line with other national medical organizations, and it's very disappointing that they say this: "Parents are entitled to factually correct, nonbiased information about circumcision" but they provide information that is both biased and highly selective. They simply don't seem to consider that the foreskin might actually be valuable.

How strange that all the health benefits the AAP claim don't seem to exist in Europe, where almost no-one circumcises unless they're Jewish or Muslim.
I suppose it's a good thing they didn't look at operating on girls to prevent breast cancer. 11% of women get breast cancer, and 3% die of it, so the health benefits to the girls would massively outweigh the risks. Meanwhile, other national health organizations including the Canadian Paediatric Society and the Dutch Medical Association continue to recommend *against* circumcising newborns.

In Response

by: paula ryan from: cornwall, GB
September 02, 2012 10:58 AM
Like all intactivists, Mark Lyndon is strong on emotive language and vague dismissive statements but weak on facts.

The statistical evidence for circumcision has built up into a strongly convincing argument - certainly strong enough to convince the World Health Organisation to devote millions of dollars on a circumcision program in Africa. It also shows that the penny-pinching decision of the British NHS to discontinue funding circumcision in the late 1940s was fundamentally flawed. Any statisticians out there care to number-crunch and tell us all how much this has cost the Britich taxpayer, not to mention the deaths and suffering from a range of diseases (including cervical cancer and human papilloma virus) which male circumcision protects against?

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Native Bees May Help Save Cropsi
X
Deborah Block
August 22, 2014 12:23 AM
U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video Native Bees May Help Save Crops

U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video US Defense Officials Plan for Long-Term Strategy to Contain Islamic State

U.S. defense officials say American air strikes in Iraq have helped deter Islamic State militants for the time being, but that a broad international effort is needed to defeat the extremists permanently. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel warned Thursday that the group formerly known as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL, is better organized, and financially and militarily stronger than any other known terrorist group. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Drug-Resistant Malaria Spreads in Southeast Asia

On Thailand’s border with Myanmar, also known as Burma, a malaria research and treatment clinic is stepping up efforts to eliminate a drug-resistant form of the parasite - before it spreads abroad. Steve Sandford reports from Mae Sot, Thailand.
Video

Video Gaza Conflict, Hamas Popularity Challenge Abbas

The Palestinian unity government of Mahmoud Abbas has failed to convince Hamas to agree to Egyptian-negotiated terms with Israel on a Gaza cease-fire. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports on what the Gaza conflict means for President Abbas, with whom U.S. officials have worked for years on a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Video

Video Nigeria's 'Nollywood' Movie Industry Rolls in High Gear

Twenty years after its birth in a video shop in Lagos, Nigeria's "Nollywood" is one of the most prolific film industries on earth. Despite low budgets and whirlwind production schedules, Nigerian films are wildly popular in Africa and industry professionals say they hope, in the future, their films will be as great in quality as they are in quantity. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from Lagos.
Video

Video UN Launches 'Biggest Aid Operation in 30 Years' in Iraq

The United Nations has launched what it describes as one of the biggest aid operations in 30 years in northern Iraq, as hundreds of thousands of refugees flee the extremist Sunni militant group calling itself the Islamic State. As Kurdish and Iraqi forces battle the Sunni insurgents, the fighting has forced more people to flee their homes. Kurdish authorities say the international community must act now to avert a humanitarian catastrophe. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Cambodian American Hip Hop Artist Sings of Personal Struggles

A growing underground movement of Cambodian American hip hop artists is rapping about the struggles of living in urban America. Most, if not all of them, are refugees or children of refugees who came to the United States from Cambodia to escape the Khmer Rouge genocide of the 1970s. Through their music, the artists hope to give voice to immigrants who have been struggling quietly for years. Elizabeth Lee reports from Long Beach, California.
Video

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid