This is the predictable near-end-result of embracing the irrational.
Rwanda has launched a campaign to encourage all men to be circumcised, to reduce the risk of catching HIV/Aids.
Digging a little deeper, according to Innocent Nyaruhirira, secretary of state for Aids prevention, the truth:
“We will start this campaign with the new born and young men in universities, the army and police.”
Circumcision as an HIV prevention strategy is absurd when condoms and safe-sex are still necessary, but one target group is not like the others. Forcing circumcision on a child is a bizarre definition of encourage.
I will not pretend to be shocked. Even when leaving aside the glaring ethical violation of cutting the healthy genitals of a child, scarce medical resources will be used to circumcise those who will not be sexually active for a dozen or more years. Brilliant strategy.
But consider a few statistics. In 2000, 11% of Rwandan adults were HIV-positive. Over a period of years, traditional approaches to HIV prevention were implemented. In 2007, 3% of Rwandan adults were HIV-positive. Other than the obviously unfortunate reality that many HIV-positive adults have died in that period, the non-circumcision approach works. Why must those who will grow up to be responsible be judged irresponsible before they’ve had a chance to prove themselves? Why must they pay the price for a flaw they may not possess?
Coerced “protection” is morally inferior to the consequences of individual action, whatever the actual consequence.