Relying on unethically and unscientifically designed studies, and erroneous and biased assumptions about Africans’ sexual behavior, U.S. researchers have been selling African countries a bill of goods about circumcision for more than a decade now.
The claim that male circumcision prevents or reduces the transmission of HIV has never been substantiated in modern, developed countries. On the contrary: American cemeteries are full of circumcised men who died from AIDS, and the rates of HIV in the United States (where most adult men are circumcised) are significantly higher than the rates in European countries where the prevalence of circumcision is in the single digits.
It is extremely difficult to get reliable information about the real results and the on-the-ground practices employed in the Voluntary [sic] Medical Male Circumcision (VMMC) campaign. What we do know, however, is that any pretense about HIV prevention is becoming dwarfed by the simple goal of circumcising as many men as possible — without so much as pre-surgical HIV testing, or controlled follow-up.
The direct beneficiaries of the “VMMC” appear to be (1) American academics and public health professionals who have made their careers by promoting circumcision abroad with programs that would never meet ethical or research standards in this country, (2) manufacturers of circumcision equipment, and (3) local officials in African countries who — in exchange for payments from abroad — facilitate the circumcision agenda by misleading and coercing their fellow countrymen into undergoing circumcision surgery. A longer term goal of the campaign — especially as related to current efforts to expand the campaign to include infants — is certainly to ensure the expanded sale of circumcision devices as circumcision rates in the United States continue to decline.
The victims of the VMMC are African men, their sex partners, and their families.
We wanted to share here a video featuring men who have been targeted for circumcision in Kenya, by campaigns funded by the U.S. government, international health agencies, and U.S. foundations. Thanks go to Prince Hillary Maloba for producing the video. Maloba is a native Kenyan, director of the VMMC Experience Project, and the driving force behind investigation of the mass circumcision campaign. “Male circumcision,” he explains, “is a project that has… has failed to reduce HIV the way we [Africans] were told. We view it as a violation of human rights. How target only one race in the entire world?”
For more information on the VMMC project and Maloba’s work.