Wednesday, December 13, 2006

AIDS research shows circumsision reduces rate of infection.

Twenty plus years and hundreds of billions of dollars spent in AIDS research and only NOW they come up with the statistic that the obvious trait of being circumsized greatly reduces infections. Isn't that a little sad? Where does all that donated money go? Is there a band of multi-million dollar monkeys in state-of-the-art-labs working around the clock to come up with this info?

From the BBC website - The trial in Kenya found a 53% reduction in new HIV infections in heterosexual men who were circumcised while the Ugandan study reported a drop of 48%.

Results last year from a study in 3,280 heterosexual men in South Africa, which was also stopped early, showed a 60% drop in the incidence of new infections in men who had been circumcised.

Right! Now I assume the study eliminated a possible prejudicing factor that different classes of people are more likely to be circumsized. As well as that different classes of people, namely poorer, are more likely to be infected with AIDS.

Off the top of my head though, here's a random survey designed to give to men in countries with high rates of AIDS and circumsision to determine a correlation between the two.

1) Have you ever had sexual intercourse with another man? - If yes, discount from survey.
2) Have you had unprotected sex with female prostitutes in the last two years? If no - discount from survey.
3) Approximately how often?
4) With the same female prostitute or with many?
5) Approximately how many?
6) Are you circumcised?

Amongst other useful questions such as age, income, tribal affiliation, region, living accommodations, etc...

Give them a blood test for AIDS.

From this info, posed to various random samples of which a good percentage would be circumcised, I could easily have come up with similar AIDS statistics. Pay me twenty grand to do it and BANG - you just saved twenty millions dollars! Again, I ask myself, why is one of the biggest breakthroughs in recent AIDS research so strikingly obvious?

I mean it is known that uncircumcised men can transmit yeast infections, which is why some women who are dating uncircumcised men will get the infections repeatedly. Is it that hard to put two and two together?

This correlation is even a fact I once wondered, and I'm definitely NO brilliant medical mind. In fact, in my life I have dedicated a grand total of maybe five hours to thinking and reading about HIV and AIDS.

Before I go, here's a blurb I came up with through googling AIDS spending.

This shift in emphasis is being driven by funding. The amount of money earmarked for HIV/AIDS is massive. In the United States alone, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) is dedicating more than $2 billion to the disease next year, and a five-year congressional initiative is adding $15 billion. The World Health Organization (WHO) will distribute $5.5 billion, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria will provide $4.7 billion, and more than $500 million will come from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Most of this cash will be spent on research, screening or treatment in developing nations. Governments are still spending money on domestic AIDS research, but the amount being spent on such programmes is no longer on the rise so, with the possible exception of postdocs, job opportunities are fairly static. And drug firms, feeling the pinch from the current economic downturn, are tending not to hire scientists to work on new HIV/AIDS drugs at the moment.

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