July 5, 2005, - 6:28 pm
By Debbie Schlussel
I think I’ve found the perfect place to spend the tax money President Bush is lavishing on Africa and money raised by “Live Eight”: Mass Brises.
For those of you unfamiliar with a “bris,” it is the Jewish ritual ceremony of circumcision, traditionally done eight days after birth of Jewish male babies.
Now comes another reason to get a bris, from the front page of today’s Wall Street Journal: It reduces the AIDS risk by a whopping 70%! I can’t link to the article because it requires a WSJ subscription. But the front-pager, by Mark Schoofs, Sarah Lueck, and Michael M. Phillips, says the findings of a study by French and South African researchers have “found that male circumcision reduces by about 70% the risk that men will contract HIV through intercourse with infected women. Vaccine makers said they’d be happy with just 30% efficacy against AIDS, the article says, but this is 70%–incredible. Note that the study does NOT apply to gay intercourse and those who got the disease from sharing drug needles. Yet another development that makes it their disease, not OUR disease.
So, it’s time for Bono, Bob Geldof, and other rock-star-come-policy-wonks to put their money where their mouths are: Send the mohels (men skilled in performing the bris circumcision ritual) to Africa.
One wonders what those bizarro anti-circumcision groups, like NOCIRC and the International Coalition of Genital Integrity–both of which target the poor–will say in response to this dramatic study. Probably too busy trying to get in touch with their inner foreskin to notice.
Tags: Africa, AIDS, Bob Geldof, Bush, Circumcision, Debbie Schlussel, HIV, Integrity, International Coalition of Genital Integrity, male circumcision, Mark Schoofs, Michael M. Phillips, NOCIRC, OUR disease, President, Sarah Lueck, Wall Street Journal