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To Circumcise or Not: The CDC Weighs In and So Can You

By HERWriter
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To Circumcise or Not? The CDC Weighs In and So Can You MonkeyBusiness Images/PhotoSpin

When it comes to circumcision, the benefits outweigh the risks, according to a recently released draft of federal guidelines.

In its first-ever draft guidelines, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended that doctors counsel parents and uncircumcised males on the health benefits and potential risks of the procedure. Scientific evidence points to it as a means of preventing HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).

The procedure, which has long been the subject of much debate, involves cutting the foreskin around the tip of the penis. Inflammation and minor bleeding are the most common negative effects.

The CDC is entering the controversy because a few studies out of Africa have shown that the risk of a man acquiring HIV from an infected female was cut in half if he was circumcised, the Washington Times reported.

These African clinical trials showed that circumcision reduced a heterosexual man’s odds of contracting an HIV infection by 50-60 percent. In addition, research has shown that circumcised men have reduced risks of contracting genital herpes and human papillomavirus.

The guidelines indicate that circumcision has only been proven to prevent HIV and STDs in men during vaginal sex, HealthDay News cautioned. The procedure has not been proven to reduce the risk of infection through anal or oral sex. Nor has it been show to reduce the risk of transmitting HIV to female partners.

According to the guidelines, the scientific evidence is mixed regarding homosexual sex. Some studies show that circumcision provides partial protection while others do not.

The CDC’s draft guidelines are similar to a policy of the American Academy of Pediatrics on circumcision released in 2012.

Neither the CDC nor the American Academy of Pediatrics outright recommends circumcision for all infant males. Both are quick to note that circumcision is a very personal decision based on family, religious or cultural beliefs.

The public is welcome to comment on the draft guidelines through January 16, 2015.

Add a Comment7 Comments

Foreskin feels REALLY good. Informed adults can decide for themselves about sacrificing healthy normal exquisite pleasure parts.

January 19, 2015 - 9:55pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to TLCTugger)

You are incorrect

They did two large scale studies in Africa which showed that the foreskin actually doesn't impact sexual pleasure.

They took 6,000 sexually active males, circumcised them, and then followed up for two years to see if they noticed any loss in sexual sensation.

The results showed they actually felt an INCREASE in sexual sensation. They believe the reason is the foreskin is covering sensitive nerve endings which get uncovered when the skin is removed.

Study 1:

Study 2:

The claim that circumcision causes a loss in sexual pleasure isn't valid.

August 24, 2015 - 7:40am
EmpowHER Guest

Research functions of the foreskin. Intact genitals are a human right. #i2

January 12, 2015 - 12:55pm
EmpowHER Guest

Parents: be wise and circumcise.

January 9, 2015 - 8:39pm
EmpowHER Guest

CDC nowhere in its proposed guidelines mentions, much less explores in any detail, the actual anatomy or functions of the penile prepuce -- the tissue being cut off!

They don't have a clue as to the actual risks -- which include sexual dysfunction and loss of sexual pleasure for LIFE. They don't consider the problems that occur just months after the amputation and don't consider the harm to the man the baby becomes. They ignore meatal stenosis (which affects MANY cut boys) and other issues such as the link between the cutting and AUTISM.

There is no proof as to lowering of HIV and it is a fact that cut men in the US get HIV, HPV and other STDs at the same rate as natural men in the US. However, cut men are more than 4 times as likely to suffer from ED

January 9, 2015 - 10:46am
EmpowHER Guest

The three African studies on which the CDC is basing its recommendation remain unconvincing to the rest of the world. It's not hard to see why. Nearly a million mostly circumcised men have died from AIDS in the US.
The HIV infection rate is lower in European countries, where circumcision is rare, lower than in the US.
Why put your kid through painful surgery, when, to be safe, he's going to have to wear a condom anyway? Circumcision removes half the skin. The alleged benefits are truly overblown. What other body part is it better to cut off, than to wash? None.

January 9, 2015 - 9:49am
EmpowHER Guest


Please let all your friends now who may think that the CDC is an unbiased source of information regarding circumcision.


January 8, 2015 - 10:48pm
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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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