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Zimbabwe lawmakers get circumcised in AIDS fight

Discussion in 'The Okie Corral' started by RichardB, Jun 22, 2012.

  1. RichardB

    RichardB Silver Member

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    http://www.wral.com/news/political/story/11237217/

    "Medical officials running the program said more than 40 lawmakers have volunteered to undergo circumcision, a procedure that research shows reduces the risk of HIV transmission."

    Legislators with gumption. I wonder if their Congress is out of session this week?
     
  2. OctoberRust

    OctoberRust Anti-Federalist

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    How does cutting off part of one's Johnson reduce the risk of an STD? :dunno:
     

  3. devildog2067

    devildog2067

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    Honestly, no one is really sure about the "how."

    The statistical evidence that it does, however, is very very strong. Circumcised men are 40-60% less likely to contract HIV than uncircumcised men, these are numbers that have been confirmed by multiple randomized trials. Correlation is not the same as causality, and truly controlled clinical trials are difficult to perform with people, but the evidence is very robust.

    It's difficult to study the "how" for ethical reasons.
     
  4. Carrys

    Carrys Inquisitive

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    On purpose?


    My word.:shocked:
     
  5. johnd

    johnd

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    This brings me images of our Congress, Senate and Exec branch all doing that too.
     
  6. mr00jimbo

    mr00jimbo

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    That's a straight up MYTH. How does not having a flap of skin that you were freaking BORN WITH reduce chances of contracting HIV?!
    http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog...cision-myths-you-may-believe-hygiene-and-stds
     
  7. devildog2067

    devildog2067

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    No, it's not a myth. It's a scientific hypothesis, with quite a bit of statistical evidence that seems to validate it (and some that seems to contradict it, as is typical with medical studies).

    As I said, it's unclear.

    It may well turn out to not be true--such is the nature of statistically based evidence.

    But to say it's a "myth" is incorrect. It's not something that someone just made up. There does appear to be strong statistical evidence that suggests there is something to it.

    The reason why the studies were stopped is precisely because the evidence was so strong.

    (I'm making the following up as a ridiculous illustrative example)

    Imagine that you're testing the effectiveness of some type of body armor by putting it on people and shooting them. The testing program calls for you to do 1000 trials each of Body Armor A and Body Armor B.

    To do the trials, you try to select a random sample of 2000 people. Then you put half of them into Body Armor A and half into Body Armor B, and shoot them.

    After the first 50 trials, half of those who were wearing Body Armor A is dead while everyone who was wearing Body Armor B is alive.

    At this point, you choose to discontinue the study--because confirming that Body Armor B is indeed better than Body Armor A will cost the lives of ~500 people.

    That's what happened with the HIV/circumcision studies. The doctors monitoring the studies saw such dramatic results that they decided it was unethical to not encourage the uncircumcised men to get circumcised, because it would potentially save many of their lives. That's why the studies were stopped early. Pointing to that as a "flaw" is incorrect.
     
  8. 2bgop

    2bgop

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    I assume you read this?

    "There have also been several studies that show that circumcision does not prevent HIV (Connolly 2008)"

    That is far different than saying it can reduce the chances contracting the virus. If something reduces your chances of infection by 15%, you could also say it doesn't prevent it, however that doesn't mean isn't worthwhile.
     
  9. el_jewapo

    el_jewapo

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    Makes much more sense to whittle on it with a knife than to be a bit more selective about where you stick it unprotected. Astounding logic.
     
  10. M&P15T

    M&P15T Beard One

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    It's obvious that circumcision is not very prevelant in the areas where HIV is spreading like wild-fire.

    To then suggest that HIV infections and circumcision are somehow causationally related is silly. The only way in which they are, is that (evidently) most people in HIV rich African countries aren't circumcised.

    All this will do is make AIDS spread even faster in the 3rd world countries where it's rampaging, because ignorant people will actually think that circumcision will help them avoid HIV, so they will not be as carefull.

    There's correlation only due to the low circumcision rates in Africa, not because there is any actual causual link.
     
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2012
  11. devildog2067

    devildog2067

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    That is true. If it were not true it would not be possible to do a study.

    That cannot be true if the studies were conducted on random samples. It is mathematically impossible.

    I don't know enough about medical studies to comment intelligently about whether the studies are designed correctly or not. Maybe they're flawed. But I do understand statistics, and what you've said does not make sense.
     
  12. OctoberRust

    OctoberRust Anti-Federalist

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    Yea, from what I'm seeing there's just as many studies to contradict what one side says about the other in this case.

    Then when you don't apply a reason on why your theory works DevilDog, then it's even harder to learn toward that theory, or the other way to be honest.

    It seems there's not enough evidence favoring either side at the moment, also Circumcision may just happen to be a rare procedure in countries where aids is prevalent. If that's the case, then you'd sound like the same people you argue with on race issues, and how due to "socio economic" factors it's "like that".

    It seems the other side in this argument could say "due to socio geographic" factors it looks as if circumcision prevents STDs or HIV, but in reality it doesn't.
     
  13. Dennis in MA

    Dennis in MA Get off my lawn

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    Here's the doc that performed them.

    [​IMG]
     
  14. M&P15T

    M&P15T Beard One

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    What "random samples" do you think were used? The critique of the study states that it was done in Africa, where circumcision rates are very low, so the study is probably totally flawed.

    You're assuming that proper samples were used (equal, large numbers of both circumcised and un-circumcised, spanning ages and financial and social back-grounds), but that might be a bad assumption. It seems that the 3 studies that were started were dropped before all the results were in.
     
  15. Green_Manelishi

    Green_Manelishi Knicker Knotter

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    The mens want to continue to do the wild-thang at will, with whomever, yet reduce the potential of a STD. No different than teaching children to have "safe sex" while engaging in free love.
     
  16. devildog2067

    devildog2067

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    One cannot credibly publish medical research in which this is not true.

    They didn't go out and try to build two statistically significant populations where half were circumcised and half were uncircumcised. They selected a large sample of uncricumcised men, and circumcised half of them.
     
  17. M&P15T

    M&P15T Beard One

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    Did you read the studies? I'm just going by what was posted in this thread.
     
  18. devildog2067

    devildog2067

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    "Number of studies" is not really a creditable criterion on which to judge.

    The statistical evidence is significant, but not overwhelmingly so.

    It's not "my" theory. I am not an expert on the topic and I am not an advocate for either side. I am simply attempting to explain what "statistical evidence" is.

    Currently, the medical folks don't know the mechanism through which it may work. I'm sure many of them have guesses. Maybe it doesn't work and they're all wrong. That's not what statistical tests tell you.

    The evidence was overwhelming enough in three separate studies that they were forced, for ethical reasons, to stop the studies and provide the procedure to everyone.

    This is irrelevant in a correctly-designed study. One selects a large random group and them circumcises half.
     
  19. devildog2067

    devildog2067

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    Not all of them. I've read the meta-study and I read the one that was in Lancet when it came out.

    The Lancet study (which was the one in Kenya) required that participants be uncircumcised, and I assume* (since this is the only reasonable way to do the study) that the others did as well.

    (*I say "assume" in the same sense that I "assume" that the researchers involved didn't make up their results or have fake medical degrees--this requirement is that basic.)
     
  20. M&P15T

    M&P15T Beard One

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    Plenty of people question this research.
    http://www.circumcisionandhiv.com/2008/02/auvert-says-sou.html