Tuesday, February 14, 2006
There is good news today: it seems that circumcision may make men less likely to transmit HIV to women as well as being less likely to contract it. Yes, the former does control for the latter (it's a study of HIV-negative women partnered with positive men: significantly less women whose men were cut got HIV).
UPDATE:A commenter points out that the effects of circumcision on HIV are relatively small. Yes, they are. But any reduction is a good reduction as far as I'm concerned, and in that effective condom use is ...errr... problematic in many parts of the world, every little bit helps.
Also the numbers are not the entire point: as a scientist, after you find that there is an effect like this, you have to figure out why*. And once you've done that, you figure out how you can exploit it in more dramatic terms: can you make the protective effect greater, or apply it to another situation?
*There's also the personal agenda hiding out behind the, uhm, curtain.