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What Are the Odds Your Boyfriend is HIV Positive?

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Almost 30 years after HIV was identified as the cause of AIDS, we still have not conquered the epidemic. A recent article in the medical literature provided statistics on how many American men are infected, as well as some ideas for reducing this number.

The lifetime risk of HIV infection for American males is given as 1.87 percent. Uncircumcised males are at higher risk. The distribution of risk by race, ethnicity, and circumcision status is:
1. Uncircumcised white males, 1.03 percent lifetime risk of HIV

2. Circumcised white males, 0.95 percent
3. Uncircumcised Hispanic males, 3.04 percent
4. Circumcised Hispanic males, 2.66 percent
5. Uncircumcised black males, 7.35 percent
6. Circumcised black males, 5.82 percent

The same paper reports that 15.7 percent of American males with AIDS acquired it from high risk heterosexual activity. Homosexual activity accounts for 71.4 percent and intravenous drug use for 12.5 percent of HIV diagnoses in American males. A number of studies have reported that male circumcision reduces the risk of heterosexual HIV transmission to males by 51 to 76 percent, but has no significant effect on homosexual HIV transmission.

Thus, increasing rates of circumcision would decrease rates of HIV infection by a small amount. Currently, 88 percent of white males, 73 percent of black males, and 42 percent of Hispanic males are circumcised in America. Cost is a major issue in the decision for parents to choose this procedure for their babies. Rates for neonatal circumcision are reported to be twice as high in states where Medicaid pays for it, compared to states where Medicaid does not. By doing a detailed cost analysis, the authors concluded that increasing rates of neonatal circumcision would save money in the long run, because even one case of AIDS is very expensive for our health care system as well as for the quality of life of that individual.

When I took a divorce recovery class, our teacher suggested that all of us get an HIV test, for two reasons. First, if you've ever been married, you don't have a 100 percent guarantee that your partner never brought home an infection.

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If a man is intact, he should wear a condom. If a man is circumcised, he should wear a condom. This is not rocket science folks. Safe sex results in minimal risk of acquiring HIV. Circumcision is guaranteed to remove erogenous tissue from the man's sex organ. I would much rather have a whole penis and wear a condom than the alternative of having a less sensitive penis and wearing a condom. Many think that the HIV rate is higher in the US than in non-circumcising Europe because men in the US do not like wearing condoms because it does not feel good to wear a condom. The circumcised penis is less sensitive than an intact penis and the condom reduces sensitivity even more.

Infant circumcision just does not make sense for reducing HIV rates in the United States.

June 17, 2010 - 12:42pm
EmpowHER Guest

Male circumcision is nerve damage -- a cutting off about 20000 fine touch and stretch sensing nerve endings and removing a source of pleasure from the male FOR LIFE. This is 2/3 of the total pleasure source amputated! This is nerves, blood vessels, protective covering and pleasure zones taken away from a human before the human can experience this. The dynamics and function and pleasure from sex and masturbation of the penis is harmed for good.The only touch organ possessing as rich erogenous innervation as the foreskin is the clitoris. Circumcision deprives man of 2/3ds of the main erogenous zone constituted of the foreskin and the glans.
BTW, the other risks (besides loss of sexual function, ED, PE and loss of PLEASURE) include curved or misshapen erection, painful erection, botches of all sorts (many requiring redo) and death. About 120 boys DIE each year in the US from this sick practice.

June 17, 2010 - 11:31am
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.


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