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Bear with me while I plow through these two seemingly off-topic abstracts:
Female circumcision and HIV infection in Tanzania: for better or for worse?
Stallings R.Y., Karugendo E.
Introduction: It has been postulated that female circumcision might increase the risk of HIV infection either directly, through the use of unsterile equipment, or indirectly, through an increase in genital lacerations or the substitution of anal intercourse. The authors sought to explain an unanticipated significant crude association of lower HIV risk among circumcised women [RR=0.51; 95% CI 0.38,0.70] in a recent survey by examining other factors which might confound this crude association.
Methods: Capillary blood was collected onto filter paper cards from a nationally representative sample of women age 15 to 49 during the 2004 Tanzania Health Information Survey. Eighty-four percent of eligible women gave consent for their blood to be anonymously tested for HIV antibody. Interview data was linked via barcodes to final test results for 5753 women. The chi-square test of association was used to examine the bivariate relationships between potential HIV risk factors with both circumcision and HIV status. Restricting further analyses to the 5297 women who had ever had sexual intercourse, logistic regression models were then used to adjust circumcision status for other factors found to be significant.
Results: By self-report, 17.7 percent of women were circumcised. Circumcision status varied significantly by region, household wealth, age, education, years resident, religion, years sexually active, union status, polygamy, number of recent and lifetime sex partners, recent injection or abnormal discharge, use of alcohol and ability to say no to sex. In the final logistic model, circumcision remained highly significant [OR=0.60; 95% CI 0.41,0.88] while adjusted for region, household wealth, age, lifetime partners, union status, and recent ulcer.
Conclusions: A lowered risk of HIV infection among circumcised women was not attributable to confounding with another risk factor in these data. Anthropological insights on female circumcision as practiced in Tanzania may shed light on this conundrum.
Introduction: Observational studies suggest that male circumcision could protect against HIV-1 acquisition. A randomized control intervention trial to test this hypothesis was performed in sub-Saharan Africa with a high prevalence of HIV and where the mode of transmission is through sexual contact.
Methods: 3273 uncircumcised men, aged 18-24 and wishing to be circumcised, were randomized in a control and intervention group. Men were followed for 21 months with an inclusion visit and follow-up visits at month 3, 12 and 21. Male circumcision was offered to the intervention group just after randomization and to the control group at the end of 21 month follow-up visit. Male circumcisions were performed by medical doctors. At each visit, sexual behavior was assessed by a questionnaire and a blood sample was taken for HIV serology. These grouped censored data were analyzed in an “intention to prevent” univariate and multivariate analysis using the piecewise survival model, and relative risk (RR) of HIV infection with 95% confidence interval (95% CI) was determined.
Results: Loss to follow-up was <11%; <1% of the intervention group were not circumcised and < 2% of the control group were circumcised during the follow-up. We observed 45 HIV infections in the control group and 15 in the intervention group, RR=2.77 (95% CI: 1.56 4.91; p=0.0005). When controlling for sexual behavior, including condom use and health seeking behavior, the RR was unchanged: RR=2.93 (p=0.0003).
Conclusions: Male circumcision provides a high degree of protection against HIV infection acquisition. Male circumcision is equivalent to a vaccine with a 63% efficacy. The promotion of male circumcision in uncircumcised males will reduce HIV incidence among men and indirectly will protect females and children from HIV infection. Male circumcision must be recognized as an important means to fight the spread of HIV infection and the international community must mobilize to promote it.
Auvert, B., et al. “Impact of male circumcision on the female-to-male transmission of HIV.” 3rd IAS Conference on HIV Pathogenesis and Treatment. 2005.
Translation: MGM as practiced by western medical doctors in sub-Saharan Africa and FGM as practiced in Tanzania have virtually the same effect on the victim’s susceptibility to HIV.
Forgetting for a moment the confounding cultural correlates involved in this research, why does it matter? Obviously I’m not promoting genital mutilation or pleasure deprivation of either gender. Emotional alienation and lack of pleasure accounts for a hell of a lot that’s wrong with this world. See http://violence.de/ to understand the detailed neurological science behind that statement. That people actually need PhD scientists to tell them this patently obvious truth is a measure of our own colonization, as is the NIH’s initial funding and subsequent censorship of this research. The fact that pleasure and love are what makes life worth living doesn’t have to be delineated and statistically dissected to be obvious to a child, at least a non-abused and neglected child. The obtuseness of American culture in this regard only reflects our own medically mediated upbringing.
I’m posting this (by now ancient) news to illustrate several things: for one, the continuing obscurity of this information demonstrates the effect of cultural bias in blinding Americans and American medical “authorities” to the anatomical (and thus the moral and ethical) similarities between MGM and FGM. But more to the point, if the same amounts of immunological cellular phenotypes (langerhans cells, the genital portals to HIV infection) are amputated in both cases, the strong implication is that the same quantity of erogenous cells are also being trashed. The cells that morph into the genitals originate from the same fetal cells with the same phenotypical characteristics (immunological and neurological) before the fetus becomes gendered. If there are X number of erogenous nerves per langerhans cell in some small region of the inner labia, for instance, the same ratio holds in the corresponding region of the foreskin. Immunologically and neurologically, the clitoral foreskin and inner and outer labia correspond to the inner and outer foreskin of the penis. Here’s a visual illustration to drive the point home:
The inescapable conclusion of all this is that neurologically, MGM as practiced by American medicine is equivalent to FGM type I or II (the dominant forms of FGM in Tanzania), otherwise known as “excision”, second only to infibulation in being the worst such atrocity practiced on the planet.
But it gets better: MGM significantly increases vaginal abrasion and it turns out that intact epithelial vaginal tissue is an effective barrier to M->F HIV transmission:
Circumcision in HIV-infected men and its effect on HIV transmission to female partners in Rakai, Uganda: a randomised controlled trial
A randomized trial of male circumcision (MC) was conducted among HIV-infected males to test the hypothesis that MC would reduce HIV transmission to female sexual partners.
This randomized, unblinded trial, conducted in Rakai District, Uganda, enrolled 922 uncircumcised, HIV-infected asymptomatic men aged 15–49 with CD4 counts ≥350. Men were randomly assigned to immediate circumcision (intervention) or circumcision delayed for 24 months (control). Concurrently enrolled HIV-negative female partners were followed up at 6, 12 and 24 months, to assess HIV acquisition by male MC assignment (primary outcome). An intention-to-treat analysis assessed women’s HIV acquisition using survival analysis and Cox proportional hazards modeling. The trial was registered in the Clinical Trials.gov Protocol Registration System (NCT00124878).
The trial was terminated for futility. Ninety three concurrently enrolled female partners of intervention arm men and 70 partners of control arm men provided follow up data. Cumulative probabilities of female HIV infection at 24 months were 21.7% (95% CI 12.7–33.4) in the intervention arm and 13.4% (95% CI 6.7–25.8) in the control arm (adjusted hazard ratio= 1.49, 95% CI 0.62–3.57, p = 0.368). At 6 months, intervention arm male-to-female transmission in couples who resumed intercourse ≥5 days prior to certified surgical wound healing was 27.8% (5/18), compared to 9.5% in couples who abstained longer post-surgically (6/63, p = 0.06) and 7.9% in control arm couples (5/63, p = 0.04)
Circumcision of HIV-infected men did not reduce HIV transmission to female partners over 24 months, and transmission risk may be increased with early post-surgical resumption of intercourse. Longer-term effects could not be assessed. Post surgical sexual abstinence and subsequent consistent condom are essential for HIV prevention. …
Translation: MGM increased M->F HIV transmission by 20% under their best measured scenario, “couples who abstained longer post-surgically”. Despite the authors’uncertain interpretation, the increased risk of M->F transmission from MGM is likely to be enduring because of the abrasion factor created by MGM:
Abstract: Heterosexual transmission of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is the most frequent mode of infection worldwide. However, the immediate events between exposure to infectious virus and establishment of infection are still poorly understood. This study investigates parameters of HIV infection of human female genital tissue in vitro using an explant culture model. In particular, we investigated the role of the epithelium and virucidal agents in protection against HIV infection. We have demonstrated that the major target cells of infection reside below the genital epithelium, and thus HIV must cross this barrier to establish infection. Immune activation enhanced HIV infection of such subepithelial cells.
Furthermore, our data suggest that genital epithelial cells were not susceptible to HIV infection, appear to play no part in the transfer of infectious virus across the epithelium, and thus may provide a barrier to infection. …
The net effect of MGM on HIV prevalence in a population is probably best illustrated by the USA itself, which has by far the highest rate of HIV and the second-highest rate of MGM (second only to Israel) in the industrialized world.
But it gets even better still. It turns out that the primary infection vector for HIV in Africa probably has nothing to do with sex at all. It has to do with western medical “charitable” vaccination campaigns:
Unsafe healthcare “drives spread of African HIV”
Since the 1980s most experts have assumed that heterosexual sex transmitted 90% of HIV in Africa. In the March International Journal of STD and AIDS, an international team of HIV specialists presents groundbreaking evidence to challenge this consensus, with “profound implications” for public health in Africa.
In a series of articles, Dr David Gisselquist, Mr John Potterat and colleagues argue that the spread of HIV infections in Africa is closely linked to medical care. In their unique study of existing data from across the continent they estimate that only about a third of HIV infections are sexually transmitted. Their evidence suggests that “health care exposures caused more HIV than sexual transmission”, with contaminated medical injections being the biggest risk. …
What’s especially remarkable about this medical holocaust is that the WHO knew exactly what would happen and they did it anyway.
What do the Gates foundation and other “aid” organizations that fanatically promote MGM in Africa have to say about all this? Nothing, because the agenda has nothing to do with reducing HIV receptor sites in men. If the world’s financial elites were concerned with preventing disease and mortality in Africa they could simply refrain from looting African economies into genocidal destitution, something they obviously have no intention of doing.
Genital mutilation of either gender is about reducing EMOTIONAL receptor sites to prevent the formation of the primal bond that perpetuates our existence and empowers our families’ love and resistance to external domination. It is a tool of mass subjugation and social control dating back at least to ancient egypt, where circumcision was the mark of slaves, because imprinting helplessness and terror on children and weakening the bonds of future marital stability, the human capacity for ecstatic union and the will to resist are useful first steps in atomizing, disempowering and controlling human communities and, in the modern day, allowing corporate parasites to harvest the economic hemorrhage resulting from broken and outsourced substitutes for human relationships and mutual support. We are being herded and sheared like sheep. In that respect, America is far more colonized than Africa ever was. But they’re working on it.
The War on Empathy, Love and Family
The War on Sex
Psychiatry and male infant circumcision are concerned with the manipulation of the two extremes of human emotion, misery and ecstacy, the control of which are essential to maintaining a docile population.
Constructive (i.e. individually liberating) social evolution is fueled by two essential ingredients: human pain and misery, and human joy and creativity. The former drives the desire, the latter provides the means. Without the latter, misery only leads to more misery.
Psychiatry addresses the former by pathologizing and suppressing people’s emotional responses to dysfunctional social environments such as domestic abuse, poverty etc. Anti-depressants and shock treatment are different ways of blocking the self-perception of suffering, and thus defusing the drive to social change and allowing for a much greater degree of social dysfunction than would otherwise be possible in a stable society. A form of brainwashing, pure and simple.
MGM deals with the opposite end of human emotional experience, ecstatic emotional connectedness, by amputating the neurological conduit by which sex is projected onto the emotional maps of the brain. The primary obstacle to efficient mass social organization is local social organization, which diverts resources and individual self-identification into personal and community relationships instead of state institutions. The extent to which a person has attained a degree of self-fulfillment and satisfaction in his/her personal life is the extent to which s/he is resistant to the inducements and conditioning of large-scale social structures. By literally cutting off much of a person’s capacity for shared ecstatic emotional experience and identification with the opposite sex, MGM frees up and allows for the redirection of self identification from interpersonal family and community-oriented attachments into identification with the state. Thus psychiatry and MGM both increase the “fitness” (in a darwinian sense) of the dominator social order relative to more “primitive” groups.
What really fascinates me is how the so-called controllers are themselves products of these self-replicating intergenerational processes of social control. If they had a little insight maybe this world would be a better place.
Rich’s excellent essay on circumcision is now available as a pdf document here. This post will go away but the link will stay in the navigation tags at the top of the blog.