VIVIRLATINO, Tuesday, April 3, 2007.

Brazil Says No to Circumcision

A recent report by the World Health Organization (WHO) indicates that the practice of circumcision could be effective in preventing the transmission of HIV. Reacting to these findings, the technical advisor for the Brazilian Health Ministry says that her country will not begin practicing circumcisions due to what she considers misleading information:

"I find the recommendations of the WHO and U.N. HIV/AIDS program a little surprising and even frightening," Simao told Agencia Brasil.

...This proposal gives a message of "false protection" because men might think that being circumcized means that they can have sex without condoms without any risk, which "is untrue", she said.

Simao also says that the study only showed that circumcision was effective in combating transmission from women to men, and that there is no data which shows a decrease in transmission of HIV in gay men. She also stated that she fears that funds currently dedicated to other forms of prevention and treatment might be redirected to circumcision.

It's interesting that Brazil would speak out publicly on this issue, because, according to Spain's 20 Minutos, the report's findings only apply to "countries in which more than 15% of the population is infected", and Brazil doesn't fit that description, nor does any other Latin American country.

(File created 3 April 2007)