Here’s actress Debra Messing testifying before the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Africa and Global Health in her role as an ambassador for PSI, asking for more federal tax dollars to support “voluntary, adult” male circumcision in Africa (emphasis added):
… I would like to tell you today about two prevention tools that could make a difference if there is continued investment: male circumcision and HIV testing and counseling.
First, voluntary adult male circumcision. There is now strong evidence that male circumcision reduces the risk of heterosexually acquired HIV infection in men by about 60 percent, yet only about one in ten Zimbabwean adult men are circumcised. PSI and its partners run circumcision clinics in Zimbabwe and other countries, with support from PEPFAR and other donors.
I was invited to observe the procedure, which is free to the client, completely voluntary and according to the young man I spoke with who underwent the procedure, painless. The cost of the procedure at that clinic—including follow-up care and counseling—is about $40 U.S. dollars.
UNAIDS and the World Health Organization have issued guidance stating that male circumcision should be recognized as an important intervention to reduce the risk of heterosexually acquired HIV infection in men.
Even with no demand creation, the clinic I visited serves upwards of 35 clients per day. It is estimated that if male circumcision is scaled up to reach 80 percent of adult and newborn males in Zimbabwe by 2015, it could avert almost 750,000 adult HIV infections—that equals 40 percent of all new HIV infections that would have occurred otherwise without the intervention—and it could yield total net savings of $3.8 billion U.S. dollars between 2009 and 2025. Male circumcision programs get robust support from the U.S. government in Zimbabwe and other countries, but greater resources would yield greater results.
Always remember that when public health officials – or actresses – talk about voluntary, adult male circumcision, they never mean voluntary or adult.
¹ Title quote reference here.
3 thoughts on “Grace, go to bed. You obviously have had a very busy day of crazy.¹”
The headline today “Circumcision may not reduce HIV” is a classic understatement. The data in the Reuters piece http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE6283Z820100309 show the men circumcised for the study were at 13% HIGHER risk of contracting HIV.
What kind of sick woman takes advantage of “I was invited to observe the procedure…”?
Now Congress is taking medical advice from an actress? Oh, wait, Congress…
Debra Messing is Jewish, (from New York), so I suspect her background might explain her views (I also do realize that there are Jews that oppose circumcision).
Regarding Africa… I came across some articles on HIV and Malawi in southern Africa (you can google to find them). The regions of Malawi were circumcsion is widespread actully have higher HIV rates than regions where it is not practiced (this is why MC has been a hard sell in that country).
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