Monday, April 30, 2012

BRISTOL: Imam says to cheat FGC law by taking girls abroad

Daily Mail
April 29, 2012

'Cheat genital mutilation ban by going abroad': British Muslim leader caught on camera advocating female circumcision

By Ian Garland
A British Muslim leader has been caught on camera advocating female genital mutilation.

Mohammed Abdul, the Imam of a Bristol mosque, was filmed urging a follower to take women and girls abroad so they can be circumcised legally.

The practise was banned by law in 2003, and it's illegal to help or encourage anyone to carry out the barbaric procedure overseas.

The footage was obtained by an undercover reporter working for the Sunday Times newspaper, who posed as a Muslim seeking advice.

During a meeting with Mohammed Abdul at the Masjid al-Huda mosque: 'In this country, it is not possible, we cannot do that. (For) any other Muslim who likes to practise the way of Prophet Muhammad, the best way is to go to other countries.

'Some families, they go to Africa or Arab countries.

Although female genital mutilation (FGM) has not been advocated by Muslim scripture, a number of clerics encourage it.
It's estimated 100,000 women in Britain have undergone the procedure and another 24,000 are thought to be at risk.
Since the law was passed in 2003, no-one has been prosecuted for carring out female genital mutilation.

Forward chief executive Naana Otoo-Oyortey said she hopes the new evidence will force the government to do more to combat the problem.

Earlier story

Sunday, April 29, 2012

VANCOUVER: Ryan White was circumcised then tested for haemophilia

The Ball State Daily News
April 28, 2012

Mother of AIDS martyr Ryan White speaks at Pruis Hall

By Haylee Brannon

Jeanne White-Ginder, mother of Ryan White who died in 1990 from AIDS, spoke Thursday night for an event hosted by Project Posi(+)ive Empowerment, an immersive learning class at Ball State.


“I’m just a mom, not a professional speaker,” the Kokomo, Ind., native said. “All I ever wanted to be was a mom and when I got pregnant I just couldn’t wait.”

“White was born 22 and a half inches long, so skinny, but had the biggest feet so we hoped that he would be a basketball player,” she laughed. “That was short lived because he was circumcised and the bleeding wouldn’t stop.”

Shortly after White was circumcised the doctors knew something was wrong. The bleeding did not stop even after stitches were applied. He was immediately tested and hours later the doctors informed White’s mother that he suffered from severe hemophilia.

[Why the HELL is any baby ever circumcised before he is tested for haemophilia? Is any other surgery done without that test? Once again, circumcision gets a free pass.]

... After being diagnosed with hemophilia, White was given drugs created from plasma of non-hemophiliacs that had not yet been approved by the FDA.

“Little did we even realize the drug that was supposed to be saving his life was actually going to be the drug that took his life,” White-Ginder said.


Friday, April 27, 2012

VANCOUVER: Supreme Court to try DIY circumcising father

Vancouver Sun
April 26, 2012

Supreme Court to hear B.C. botched circumcision case

The Supreme Court of Canada will hear the case of a B.C. father who tried to circumcise his four-year-old son with a razor blade and a blood coagulant meant for horses, it was announced Thursday.
The man, who is referred to in court documents only as D.J.W. to protect the identity of his son, was first convicted in a British Columbia court in October 2009.

He was found guilty of criminal negligence causing bodily harm following the botched April 2007 procedure.

But, after the man appealed the decision, three B.C. Court of Appeal judges stayed the conviction and upped the charge to aggravated assault last December.

The previous sentence imposed was one year in jail, with two years' probation and a 10-year prohibition on owning a firearm. An aggravated assault conviction carries a maximum sentence of 14 years in jail.

According to the documents, D.J.W. had "changed his world view" after the birth of his son and felt he had to "make things right with God."

The original trial judge found D.J.W. had asked two rabbis and four physicians to perform the circumcision but was told the procedure would require a general anesthetic, which could not be justified for his four-year-old son.

The man then attempted to enrol in a course that trained mohels to perform circumcisions, but was told only trained doctors could take it, the documents stated.

Despite having botched a circumcision on himself a couple of years earlier which caused an infection, the man decided to circumcise his son himself, in his kitchen.

According to court documents the kitchen was not sterile, or even sanitary. The documents also say that D.J.W. gave his son a quantity of honey wine, placed him on garbage bags on the kitchen floor, then cut away the foreskin with a razor blade. The documents further state that D.J.W.'s hand slipped when his son shuddered and cried, and that D.J.W. used a veterinary blood coagulant called Wonder Dust — meant for horses and livestock — on his son's bleeding penis.

The boy had to have corrective surgery.

According to a summary of the case in the 2009 ruling, D.J.W. had told his son the procedure would grant him "extra special protection from God" and allow him to eat Passover lamb, ice cream and pick all the movies he wanted for a week.

D.J.W. is banned from seeing the boy, who now lives with his mother.

Earlier story

KENYA: Circumcised youths have unsafe sex
April 25, 2012

Kenya: Ugunja DC's AIDS Warning

By Eric Oloo
The recently circumcised men in Ugunja district are engaging in unprotected sex, area DC Kipkech Lotiatia has warned. Lotiatia said reports reaching his office indicated that the young men who recently underwent voluntary circumcision are engaging in unprotected sex especially with schoolgirls.

"We fear that the youths have unprotected sex assuming that undergoing VMC [Voluntary Male Circumcision] protects them from HIV virus," said the DC who directed the health officials to conduct a follow-up and counsel them. He said unless the vice is stopped, the spread of HIV/Aids in the district will increase.

He however said he will work closely with the local leaders and stakeholders to mobilize more young men for the VMMC [Voluntary Medical Male Circumcision] exercise adding that during the recent exercise at Sigomere sub location, over 200 youths underwent the cut.

Earlier story

LONDON: Baby Geldof will stay intact

Contact Music
April 26, 2012

Peaches Geldof Won't Have Son Circumcised

Peaches Geldof will not have her newborn son circumcised, despite having converted to Judaism last year for fiancé Thomas Cohen.

Peaches Geldof will not have her newborn son circumcised.

The 23-year-old daughter of Bob Geldof - who gave birth to Astala Dylan Willow on Saturday (21.04.12) - converted to Judaism for fiancé Thomas Cohen last year, although both have decided against having the little one undergo the traditional procedure.

Thomas, who fronts band S.C.U.M, said: ''Even though we're both Jewish, our baby won't have a Jewish circumcision.''

[And even though S.C.U.M stands for Society for Cutting Up Men! Thomas is on record as saying "My mum didn’t want me to be circumcised either" (Daily Mail, January 29, 2012) - but not whether she prevailed.]

Thursday, April 26, 2012

LONDON: Church rocked by Quaintance cover-up

Daily Mail
April 25, 2012

Sex scandal rocks Order of the Knights

By Richard Kay
... there is... an extraordinary schism at the heart of the Order of Malta, the world’s oldest order of chivalry. Its members, who include some of some of Britain’s leading Roman Catholics, have been rocked by a grubby story surrounding a 69-year old paedophile.

For there has been a mass walkout of the Order’s governing council, which has its headquarters in St John’s Wood, North London, from where it directs its charitable undertakings. Nine members, including Lord Guthrie, the former Chief of the Defence Staff, who is the vice-president, have resigned, I am told.
In addition, three members of the Order, known as knights, have been banned from entering the church of St John and Elizabeth in North London — based in the hospital where Emma Thompson and Kate Moss had their children — where the Order holds a Mass each week.

In another blow, the Archbishop of Westminster, Vincent Nichols, the head of the Catholic Church in England, is considering banning the Order from using the church altogether. Others who have resigned include retail heir Mark Brenninkmeijer, City fund manager Stephen Macklow-Smith, upmarket chocolate retailer Nick Crean, society party organiser Peregrine Armstrong-Jones’ wife Caroline, and publishing heir Adam Macmillan’s ex-wife, Sarah.

So, too, have the Duke of Norfolk’s cousin, Richard Fitzalan-Howard, financier Count Nicolas Reuttner and the organisation’s former hospitaller Tim Orchard. The knights have resigned because they are unhappy that the man employed as a sacristan and server for the charity’s Mass has been revealed as a paedophile. Vernon Quaintance was recently given a 40-week suspended sentence for possessing child pornography.

‘What we objected to was that the three members of the Order’s senior body, the Grand Priory, who should have known about this man’s background, did nothing,’ says one knight. ‘At the least they should have admitted their error of judgment.’
[And what did the circumcision-advocacy community know about this man's background?]
... Earlier story

SYDNEY: Brian Morris fails to erase Gilgal

April 26, 2012

Morris erases Gilgal Society from leaflets

...but the Society fails to return the favour
This morning, documents suddenly disappeared from the website of Professor Brian Morris of the University of Sydney.

They were his leaflets promoting circumcision, bearing the imprint of the Gilgal Society. The head of the Gilgal Society, Vernon Quainance, has been convicted of possessing child pornography.

Until yesterday, Morris's leaflet Circumcision, a guide for parents, said it was published by Brian Morris & The Gilgal Society, with the society's address and logo. Today, all reference to the society is gone, along with a reference to Morris's "interest in circumcision".

His leaflet for women, "Sex and Circumcision: What every woman needs to know", which boasted a long list of co-authors - a virtual roll-call of the pro-circumcison movement - was removed and later replaced by a black and white version, again with all reference to the Gilgal Society removed. Links to the Circumcision Foundation of Australia and the circumcision fetish site circlist replace the link to it.

Since the weekend, the Gilgal Society website has carried the message: We regret that as a result of major computer failure none of our publications are currently available to order from us. But Professor Morris's leaflets continue to be advertised on the site!

Professor Morris's site continues to show a "circumcision humor" page, including a verse by "Vernon Quantance" [sic] directly under a picture (NSFA: Not Suitable For Anywhere) of a baby with his foreskin trapped in a cellphone [sick]

Earlier story

CAPE TOWN: Health Minister wants every man circumcised

Politics web
April 24, 2012

Dept of Health Budget Vote Speech 2012 - Motsoaledi Aaron Motsoaledi

In order not to be complacent, we have unveiled a new National Strategic Plan or (NSP) HIV/AIDS and TB for the period 2012 - 2016.

Honourable members, we need your support and leadership to make the four (4) strategic objectives in the country's NSP a success.

These four (4) strategic objectives are:
  • Addressing the social structural drivers of HIV, STDs and TB care, prevention and support
  • Preventing new HIV/STD and TB infections
  • Sustaining health and wellness and lastly
  • Ensuring protection of Human Rights and improving access to Justice The new NSP further states that every single South African must test at least once a year.We believe that if all South Africans can play their role, these goals are easily achievable.We need to make sure that every pregnant woman undergoes routine HIV testing. We need to make sure every male is circumcised and hence this year, we are targeting 600 000 men.

DENVER: Medicaid circumcision cover amendment moves forward

Health Policy Solutions
April 24, 2012

Lawmakers reconsider circumcision for babies on Medicaid

By Katie Kerwin McCrimmon
Circumcisions for low-income babies could once again be covered in Colorado after a bill seeking to restore funding moved forward Tuesday in the Senate.

Circumcision has become a polarizing issue in Colorado after the legislature last year voted to make Colorado the 18th state to ban Medicaid funding for the procedure. The state stopped paying for routine circumcisions last July.

Cost is not the primary point of contention. Circumcisions – which cost about $200 to $400 each – for low-income babies add up to a relatively small tab according to state fiscal analysts: about $195,000 next year and $230,000 the year after that.

Instead, activists on both sides are battling over whether the ancient practice of cutting an infant boy’s foreskin from the head of his penis is healthy. Opponents argue that the procedure is medically unnecessary, and elsewhere in the country, foes are trying to ban it altogether [No, to restrict it to consenting people] . Supporters believe circumcision should be a personal choice [No, the choice of another person] . They say it has health benefits including reduction of urinary tract infections in babies and prevention of HIV and AIDS among adults.

Debate over circumcision taps into deeply held personal and religious beliefs that often spark fights between new parents, medical professionals and lawmakers.

Sen. Joyce Foster, D-Denver, was alarmed to learn last summer that funding for circumcisions had been cut from Colorado’s Medicaid budget last year. So, this year, she introduced Senate Bill 12-90, which would restore the funding.
Foster also happens to be Jewish and her husband is the influential retired Temple Emanuel rabbi, Steven Foster. Ritual male circumcision is a fundamental tradition in Jewish culture.

Foster said her own religious views and those of her husband have nothing to do with her support for Medicaid funding of circumcision. She said traditional Jewish families typically don’t opt for circumcisions in a hospital. Rather a religious leader called a mohel performs the circumcision either at home or in a temple when the baby is about eight days old.

“This bill will have absolutely nothing to do with the Jewish community of Colorado,” she said.
[Oh really?]

Jewish Daily Forward
February 27, 2012
Foster... said she believes that cutting Medicaid coverage for circumcision sent a message of support to anti-circumcision activists who want see the procedure outlawed nationwide. She is determined to push back against that effort.
“Ultimately, I think when the anti-circumcision people begin to see so many states denying benefits,” Foster said, “it will be easier for them now to make their case that circumcision should be banned altogether.”
Foster said opponents of circumcision who are seeking to ban the procedure altogether would be abridging religious rights, not only for Jews, but also for others.

“Some people don’t want anybody to have it. That would be an attack not only on Jews, but on Christianity, which is based on Judaism, and on the Muslim community. ...
At an earlier hearing, Gillian Longley, a registered nurse from Louisville, was among those who testified against public funding for circumcision. She described routine circumcision of newborn boys as “elective, non-therapeutic, cosmetic surgery.

“It is neither medically necessary nor cost effective,” Longley said.

Lawmakers in the Senate last week nixed an amendment that would have added funding for Medicaid circumcisions to the budget bill, known as the long bill. But, on Tuesday, the Senate Appropriations Committee voted to move the bill forward. Now it goes to the full Senate; then if it passes, on to the House.
Earlier story

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

KENYA: Married women forcibly circumcised

The Standard (Kenya)
April 24, 2012

Panic as gang circumcises married women

By Patrick Muthuri
Anxiety has gripped Athanja Sub-Location in Tigania East District after a group of women allegedly kidnapped and forcefully circumcised married women who are opposed to female circumcision.

One woman was rescued from a group of circumcisers while another is still missing after she was reportedly hidden after the alleged mutilation in Kaithe village.

Following the incident, seven suspects alleged to be members of a group that has been abducting woman and forcefully circumcising them were arrested.

"The victim who escaped was lured into a house in the name of a meeting by the women. When she entered the house, she was ordered to undress but she screamed and neighbours came to her rescue.

The gang has already abducted and circumcised one woman who is still missing," said Ms Evangeline Kangai, a women’s rights activist.

Area OCPD Charles Koskei said the suspects will be arraigned in court for propagating harmful cultural practices and urged the community to intensify campaigns against the vice.

"The Constitution protects women against harmful cultural practices. We will not allow anyone to violate the basic rights of women," the OCPD said. Kangai said the group made up of young and old women has been targeting married women.

She said the group threatens uncircumcised women with isolation if they do not undergo the cut. "The group seems to have turned to married women because we have sensitised school girls against Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)."

Assaulted four women
"We urge the Government to take stern action against the perpetrators since they are trying to revive the vice," she said. She added the group has been training young women how to carry out FGM. "Among those arrested was a 23-year-old woman, the circumciser and a trainer. I urge all stakeholders to come in and ensure this is brought to an end," said Kangai. Susan Munya said the group has assaulted about four women and called for crackdown on other suspects.

Ann Kaburo, a health worker said the gang’s activities have broken up some families since they have been mutilating women without the knowledge of their husbands, who kick them out when they discover.

Muthara Chief Nkunya Etirikia said the practice had dropped significantly and said he would fight those who attempt to revive it.

NEW DELHI: Online campaign against FGC
April 23, 2012

Female circumcision anger aired in India

NEW DELHI: Eleven years ago, Farida Bano was circumcised by an aunt on a bunk bed in her family home at the end of her 10th birthday party.

The mutilation occurred not in Africa, where the practice is most prevalent, but in India where a small Muslim sub-sect known as the Dawoodi Bohra continues to believe that the removal of the clitoris is the will of God.

“We claim to be modern and different from other Muslim sects. We are different but not modern,” Bano, a 21-year-old law graduate who is angry about what was done to her, told AFP in New Delhi.

She vividly remembers the moment in the party when the aunt pounced with a razor blade and a pack of cotton wool.

While the sect bars other Muslims from its mosques, it sees itself as more liberal, treating men and women equally in matters of education and marriage.

The community’s insistence on “Khatna” (the excision of the clitoris) also sets it apart from others on the subcontinent.

“If other Muslims are not doing it then why are we following it?” Bano says.

For generations, few women in the tightly-knit community have spoken out in opposition, fearing that to air their grievances would be seen as an act of revolt frowned upon by their elders.

But an online campaign is now encouraging them to join hands to bury the custom.

The anti-Khatna movement gained momentum after Tasneem, a Bohra woman who goes by one name, posted an online petition at the social action platform in November last year.

She requested their religious leader, the 101-year-old Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin, ban female genital mutilation, the consequences of which afflict 140 million women worldwide according to the World Health Organisation.

Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin is the 52nd Dai-al Mutalaq (absolute missionary) of the community and has sole authority to decide on all spiritual and temporal matters.

Every member of the sect takes an oath of allegiance to the leader, who lives in western city of Mumbai.

When contacted by AFP, Burhanuddin’s spokesman, Qureshi Raghib, ruled out any change and said he had no interest in talking about the issue.

“I have heard about the online campaign but Bohra women should understand that our religion advocates the procedure and they should follow it without any argument,” he said.

A gathering protest
But over 1,600 Bohra Muslim women have since signed the online petition.

Many describe the pain they experienced after the procedure and urge their leader to impose a ban.
“The main motive behind Khatna is that women should never enjoy sexual intercourse. We are supposed to be like dolls for men,” 34-year-old Tabassum Murtaza, who lives in the western city of Surat, told AFP by telephone.

The World Health Organisation has campaigned against the practice, saying it exposes millions of girls to dangers ranging from infections, hemorrhaging, complicated child-birth, or hepatitis from unsterilised tools.

In the Middle East, it is still practised in Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Jordan and Syria.

“It is an atrocity committed under the cloak of religion,” says Murtaza, who along with her husband was asked to leave their family home when they refused to get their daughter circumcised.

My mother-in-law said there was no room for religious disobedience and we should move out if we cannot respect the custom,” she explained. “It is better to live on the street than humiliate your daughter’s body.”

Speaking out
Asghar Ali Engineer, a Bohra Muslim and expert on Islamic jurisprudence, has known the dangers of fighting for reform.

He has authored over 40 books proposing changes, particularly around the status of women, and has been attacked by hardliners inside a mosque in Egypt and had his house trashed by opponents.

While both France and the United States have laws enabling the prosecution of immigrants who perform female circumcisions, the practice remains legal in India and Engineer expects this to remain the case.

“Female circumcision is clearly a violation of human rights, the Indian government refuses to recognise it as a crime because the practice has full-fledged religious backing,” he said.

“No government has the courage to touch a religious issue in India even if the practice is a crime against humanity.”

He says many fathers are simply unaware of the damage they are doing by following the custom.

“I prevented my wife from getting our daughters circumcised but in many cases even fathers are not aware of the pain their daughters experience,” he says.

LONDON: Girls "at risk" of FGC in UK

Sky News
April 22, 2012

Medics Offered Genital Mutilation, Report Says

By Ian Woods
As many as 100,000 women in Britain may have been mutilated in the name of culture and religion, a report claims.
[There seems no basis for the "100,000" figure - but any FGC is too much.]
The Sunday Times has uncovered what it claims is evidence of three medical practitioners offering advice on how it could be done, or in one case charging £750 to carry out the procedure.
Omar Sheikh Mohamed Addow is a dentist in Birmingham, but was filmed describing how the clitoris could be pierced with a needle and then clamped.

"Once they won't feel anything, then you cut with scissors. It will bleed. Then you take the stitches. You close."

When contacted by Sky News he denied he said ever been involved in the act.

"I have not referred anyone for this treatment. I am a dentist. I am aware of female genital mutilation and have campaigned against it."

Yet he was he recorded by the Sunday Times apparently agreeing to mutilate two young girls, aged 10 and 13, in secret:
Omar Sheikh Mohamed Addow: I will do it for you.
Sunday Times reporter: Thank you.
Addow: Nobody should know. Between you me and Allah only.
The Sunday Times say they were put in touch with the Birmingham dentist by Dr Ali Mao Aweys, who has practices in Birmingham and London and was recorded suggesting it was safer to have the surgery outside the UK.

"Yes it must have (sic) confidential. But I think it's better if you go to Africa, and then do, and then stay for 14 days, and then I give you some medication you can take and then give them."

When Sky News visited his practice in north London his receptionist told us he was not prepared to comment and asked us to leave.

... the [General Medical C]ouncil’s chief executive, Niall Dixon, said he was concerned and has begun an investigation.

Mohammad Sahib describes himself as an alternative medicine practitioner and the newspaper said he wanted £750 to perform surgery on the genitalia.

The newspaper secretly recorded this exchange:
Sunday Times (ST): You'll cut the clitoris?
Mohammad Sahib (MS): Yeah
ST: You'll cut with blade?
MB: Yeah
ST: You'll do it here?
MB: Yeah.
ST: What about stitching? Sew it?
MB: Yes I can do both.
Equality Now campaigner Efua Dorkenoo told Sky News: "Members of the community,family members know about it... there's a lot of pressure.

"And if you expose it you could be ostracised and you could be persecuted in the community.
"So people are frightened of coming forward."

ISRAEL: Tweeting mohel digs himself in deeper; botch outcome doubtful

April , 2012

Celebrity mohel mocks baby's manhood

Rabbi Avi Zarki's tweet about carrying out circumcision on 'smallest penis' he had ever seen may land him in hot water, but he says he just wanted to share medical perspective
Rabbi Zarki is a rabbi-mohel who lives in Tel Aviv. Over the last few years he has established himself as the go-to mohel in the secular community and especially among celebrities and public figures. He has both a Facebook account and a twitter account which attest to his open and unusual style.

"I'm a famous mohel [modest, too] thanks in part to my sense of humor, and I don't lose that," the rabbi told Ynet and added "The beauty of the thing is to take a subject that is sensitive and delicate and talk about it with a smile."
[The beauty of the thing is to take a subject that is sensitive and delicate and leave it alone.]

And what about the right to privacy? Rabbi Zarki doesn't see how the tweet clashes with the parents' rights. "Every day I carry out several circumcisions and each one has hundreds of guests," he noted.

"There is no identifying mark in anything I wrote - not the parents, not a location and not the name, so whoever read the tweet won't be able to discover who it was about. And because of the swift process of the circumcision, even the people present at that circumcision - including the godfather and the photographer - won't be able to know there was a problem."

Rabbi Zarki added that two mohels examined the baby before he did and refused to conduct the circumcision for fear they would damage the penis when they removed the foreskin.
According to Zarki, the baby's parents asked him to look into the matter, and since he had already carried out three similar circumcisions, he agreed, even though he hadn't previously seen a penis as small in all his 24 years as a mohel.

"My goal (in tweeting the) tweet was to bring the matter to the public's attention, that you can carry out a halachic circumcision even when there is such a problem, which is complicated from a medical perspective, that was my message."
The rabbi's "humorous" tweet came on the same day that a different Brit ceremony carried out by a different mohel, ended in tragedy. An eight day old baby was rushed to hospital after a mohel cut off a third of his penis during a circumcision ceremony.

Three urologists at the Rambam Medical Center in Haifa operated on the baby and said that they successfully reattached the penis, but added that they were as yet unsure whether the penis would function properly in the future. The Health Ministry was informed of the incident.

Earlier stories: tweets; botch

Sunday, April 22, 2012

CROYDON, UK: Prominient circumcision advocate convicted for child porn

Croydon Advertiser
April 21, 2012

Croydon circumcision campaigner caught with child porn videos

THE head of a pro-circumcision group who used to run a children's computer club was caught with a hoard of child porn.

Vernon Quaintance, from Upper Norwood, has avoided a jail term – despite having three video cassettes with nine-hours' worth of clips showing boys as young as 11 engaging in sex acts.

The 68-year-old is the head of the Gilgal Society, a group dedicated to promoting male circumcision.

The Old Bailey heard how police raided Quaintance's home in Henley Gardens, Upper Norwood, on April 11 last year after receiving a tip-off.

The movies seized included graphic footage of child abuse ranked at the second-highest level of severity.

Prosecuting, Frances Janusz said: "Of the five tapes seized, three were found to contain indecent images. They comprise a total of seven to nine hours.

"The children were estimated to be between 11 and 16 years old."

Robert Girling, defending, said the video tapes had been found in a box in Quaintance's office and featured films from the late 70s and early 80s.

Mr Girling told the court: "He accepts that he acquired it and it was material that he looked [at,] at the time. But 'at the time' is approaching 40 years ago.

"It was recovered from a box in his office and it was a box that he had not looked into for years and years."

Quaintance, who the court was told had been celibate for his entire life, admitted three counts of possession of indecent photographs of a child.

The retired telephone engineer was handed a 40-week jail term, suspended for two years, ordered to complete a sexual offenders rehabilitation course, and told to pay £300 costs.

According to an online profile, Quaintance is a former chairman of Croydon Computer Club, who also started a free computer group for children.

Sentencing him on Tuesday, judge Nicholas-Loraine Smith told him: "You said you had watched the videos but claimed to have got no sexual enjoyments.

"I'm afraid I very much doubt that since you retained them."

But he said Quaintance's willingness to address his problems meant he could suspend his prison sentence.

Residents in Henley Gardens, where Quaintance is known as the respected head of the local community association, were shocked to hear of his conviction. One neighbour, who did not want to be named, said: "I know he is a very religious man and is committed to the church." [So the name Gilgal - commonly translated "Hill of Foreskins" (Joshua 5:2) - for the society was his idea?]

[Quaintance has already been publicly exposed, and his offending is intimately involved with his interest in circumcision.

... Vernon Quaintance ... was much older than most of us, maybe in his late twenties or early thirties ... Having pulled over into a secluded car park ... he told me a joke ... the punchline involved some confusion between castration and circumcision. He then asked me if I knew what a circumcision was, to which I replied ‘No’. He then explained what it was. ... he made it seem ok for me to show him my willy, and seemed interested in determining how far I could pull my foreskin back, even gently trying to do so himself. ... He then asked if I wanted to see an example of a circumcision, which I understood to mean that he wanted to show me his willy. ... I blurted out that I had told my Mum that I would be going to confession ... Many of the highest-profile circumcision campaigners have ties to the Gilgal Society:

The text of this brochure [Sex and Circumcision: What every woman needs to know] has received consensus
support from the following circumcision experts (listed
alphabetically), who contributed to its formulation:
Bertran Auvert, MD PhD (France)
Robert Bailey, PhD (Univ of Illinois, Chicago, USA)
Stefan Bailis, MA (Minnesota, USA)
Xavier Castellsagué, MD PhD (Barcelona, Spain)
Mike Cormier (New Brunswick, Canada)
Guy Cox, DPhil (Univ of Sydney, Australia)
Ilene Gelbaum, RN NOAM (Los Angeles, USA)
Daniel Halperin, PhD (Harvard, Boston, USA)
Dawn Harvey, MA(Hons) (Aberdeen, UK)
Sam Kunin, MD (Los Angeles, USA)
Edgar Schoen, MD (Oakland, USA)
Roger Short, AM FRS ScD (Univ of Melbourne, Australia)
Howard Stang, MD (Minnesota, USA)
Jake Waskett (Manchester, UK)
Helen Weiss, PhD (London Sch Hyg Trop Med, UK)
Robin Willcourt, MD (Newport Beach, USA & Adelaide, Aust)
Tom Wiswell, MD (Florida, USA)
Primary author: Brian Morris, DSc
Professor, School of Medical Sciences, University of Sydney,
Further information
May be obtained from the following websites: (Brian Morris, PhD DSc) (Edgar Schoen, MD) (The Gilgal Society) (Guy Cox, DPhil) (Terry Russell, AOM, MB BS) (Sam Kunin, MD) (Pierre Lacock, PhD) (Mike Cormier)
A list of possible circumcisers in your region may be
obtained from the Gilgal Society. See for
an order form, or for doctors in Australia
and New Zealand
©2007 Brian Morris & The Gilgal Society
Published in England by The Gilgal Society
PO Box 53515, London, SE19 2TX

(It does not of course follow that they knew of Quaintance's other interests.)]

Saturday, April 21, 2012

MANCHESTER: Midwife committed for trial after circumcision death - more unreported?

Men's Health Forum
April 19, 2012

Nurse charged as baby dies after circumcision

As a nurse is put on trial in Manchester, the debate about circumcision rages once again.
A trial date has been set for Grace Adeleye, 66, of Salford who has been charged with manslaughter after a baby boy died following a circumcision. At a Manchester Crown Court hearing on 18 April, her trial date was set for November 26. She is alleged to have caused the death of Goodluck Caubergs, from Oldham, by gross negligence two years ago.

The tragedy has inevitably shone the spotlight once again on circumcision with organisations such as NORM-UK and The Men's Network in Brighton condemning the practice.

The network's strategic director Glen Poole said: 'in the UK we are still subjecting an estimated 100 boys a day to non-consensual, medically unnecessary circumcision – with two-thirds of these procedures being carried out for non-religious reasons. While it is illegal to tattoo a boy either with or without his consent, parents do not need their son’s consent to have his foreskin painfully and unnecessarily removed without anaesthetic by non-medical practitioners.'

Circular argument
David Smith of NORM-UK, a charity offering support for men unhappy with circumcision, said: 'This is not the first case of a death following a circumcision.' He believes 'the true rate of deaths from this procedure is masked because of a circular argument.

'The circular argument goes: boys don't die because of circumcision, therefore in the case of a boy dying immediately after being circumcised there must be another cause, probably sudden infant death syndrome, and the preceding circumcision is coincidental. Thus the possibility of a causal relationship between the circumcision and the death is never recorded, and so this goes on being repeated and the connection is never made.'

What do you think about circumcision?
Earlier story

Friday, April 20, 2012

DENVER: Move to restore Medicaid circumcision funding fails

Denver Post
April 19, 2012

Colorado Senate's budget debate includes circumcisions, ATMs at strip clubs

By Tim Hoover
The Colorado Senate gave initial approval Wednesday night to a $19 billion state budget after a debate that touched on funding infant circumcisions for the poor and whether state welfare ATM cards can be used at strip clubs.
One of the most impassioned debates Wednesday was over infant circumcisions for Medicaid-eligible families. The state eliminated the funding last year, and Sen. Joyce Foster, D-Denver, wanted to restore the program at a cost of $194,986.
Emotional at times, Foster said low-income families that have to pay up to $400 for the procedure usually skip it.
"Because they're poor, they have no choice," she said. [So then the babies and later men do.]
Lambert said circumcision is an optional procedure that not everyone agrees is medically advisable.
"This is also one of those areas where private charities and private donations are possible," he said.
The amendment failed.
Earlier story

 [Clarification: What the Colorado Senate refused to pass was an amendment to the annual appropriations bill to restore Medicaid funding for circumcision. This is a separate bill from SB12-090 which would require Colorado Medicaid to cover newborn circumcisions. SB12-090 is still on the table. The Senate Appropriations Committee hearing for SB12-090 is next Tuesday. If the Appropriations Committee passes the bill, it will go to the full Senate next and then to the House.]

BOTSWANA: US heavily funds circumcision

The Botswana Gazette
April 19, 2012

Botswana prioritises circumcision


Safe Male Circumcision (SMC) is cited as a priority for Botswana and [sic should it be "of"?] the United States of America, the Daily News reports.

Speaking during the handing over of the P8 million [$US1.07 million] SMC medical supplies and vehicle to the Botswana Defence Force (BDF) recently, US Ambassador to Botswana Michelle Gavin said they prioritised SMC as it is “one of the strongest weapons in their arsenal in the fight against new HIV infections.” [A crazy exaggeration.]

Gavin reportedly stated that the US government is proud to contribute to Botswana’s HIV prevention strategy and that its supports evidence-based programmes like PMTCT, HIV testing and counselling as well as care and treatment.

However, she said despite [or because of?] the successful programmes, new HIV infections ’ rates continue to escalate hence efforts made by her government to assist Botswana in achieving its goal of zero infections by 2016.

She urged Batswana men to choose SMC pointing out that if majority of them choose the strategy, they will reduce their own chances of infection hence the entire country will benefit.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

TEL AVIV, ISRAEL: Mohel tweets about small penis, brit b'li periah

Life in Israel
April 18, 2012

Mohel Tweets Himself Into Trouble With Controversial Tweets

By Rafi G.

In a very strange incident, Rav Avi Zarki, a popular mohel in Tel Aviv, tweeted two tweets on his twitter account that have him in hot water.

  1. According to my professional opinion, today we can do the circumcision according to halacha without doing the traditional "preeya". [Then why not without the traditional milah?] tweet
  2. Today I did a circumcision on a child with the smallest penis I have ever seen - a micro penis. You should undertand, it was slightly thicker than a matchstick. [One hates to think what damage will come to light when its owner grows up.] At 1st I thought it was a girl. Zeh HaKotton Gadol Yiheyeh (play on words saying this small one should become big). tweet

Kikar [in Hebrew] spoke to Rav Zarki to get a response, after his tweets caused a stir. Zarki defended his tweets basically by saying he is in an unusual position and has silent rabbinic support for his style. His position is unusual because he works a lot with the non-religious community and needs to do brash things in order to keep circumcision a topic of conversation. He says he has rabbinic support for his approach, but the rabbonim dont always want their names mentioned publicly, though he reminds us that he was one of the leading students of Rav Wolbe zt"l..

Regarding his comment that preeya is no longer necessary, he did not offer much of an explanation. He did say that it is the Solonika method that performs the circumcision together with the preeya, while he has letters from many rabbonim (including Rav Ovadiah Yosef he says) supporting his alternate method.

The comment about the baby, while he had a cute line with his "zeh hakotton gadol yiheyeh", was tasteless and inappropriate for him to make. if the parents had seen what he tweeted, I am sure they would not have been happy. The comment about preeya demands more of an explanation than trust me that anonymous rabbis support me.

ISRAEL: Baby loses 1/3 of penis in worse-than-usual circumcision

April 18, 2012

Mohel Cuts Off A Third of Baby's Penis During Circumcision

A circumcision in Northern Israel went horribly wrong recently, when the mohel responsible for the procedure accidentally cut off a third of the infant’s penis [instead of just a third of the skin] , Israeli media reported on Wednesday.

The infant was rushed to a hospital in Haifa, Israel where an emergency operation was performed because his life was in danger. The circumcision procedure, traditionally done 8 days after birth, may have caused permanent damage to the child [May have? Nay, it did: it always does] , although senior urologists at the hospital said it will be a number of days until anything can be determined.

The baby’s parents have gone to the Israeli Ministry of Health to report the incident.

STOCKHOLM: Row over FGC represented by cake-cutting

Boing Boing

April 18, 2012

Screaming black female circumcision cake controversial

By Rob Beschizza

Swedish culture minister Lena Adelsohn Liljeroth cut into an unusual cake at the Museum of Modern Art in Stockholm this Saturday, and found herself at the center of a controversy some might say could have been predicted.

[YouTube image from Boing Boing removed "as a violation of YouTube's policy prohibiting hate speech"
- re-sourced via 'The Local'

The remarkable cake design -featuring a edible black torso and the artist's head screaming as guests tucked in - was intended to draw attention to female genital mutilation in Africa.

Campaigners, however, say it is itself an unacceptable caricature. From Sweden's The Local:

"In our view, this simply adds to the mockery of racism in Sweden," [said] Kitimbwa Sabuni, spokesperson for the National Afro-Swedish Association."This was a racist spectacle."

... the culture minister began cutting a large cake shaped like a black woman, symbolically starting at the clitoris. Makode Aj Linde, the artist who created the installation and whose head is part of the cake cut by the minister, wrote about the "genital mutilation cake" on his Facebook page.

"Before cutting me up she whispered, 'Your life will be better after this' in my ear," he wrote in a caption next to the partially eaten cake.

[This is one of the more neutral commentaries, and many of its comments are thought-provoking. Another, less positive, suggests the Minister, who is strong on the right of art to provoke but weak on issues of racism, was ambushed, and the viral video of her laughing as she cuts and eats the cake is the real performance. Here (Al Jazeera) the (black, male) artist explains his intent. Most reports and their commentators just joined the outrage.

What few have noticed is the resemblance to a real "cake party" that is re-enacted time after time in the Western world, with a screaming person and their genitals as the centre of attention, only it's a baby boy, and his genitals really are being cut. With this performance's many layers of irony and satire, it's not clear that the artist intended that.]

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

PAKISTAN: Baby dies after injection for circumcision

Pakistan Today
April 16, 2012

[Mother of two shot dead]


NEGLIGENCE: A 15-day-old baby died to the alleged negligence of doctor at a private clinic in the Defence-A police limits on Monday. Police have registered a case No 319/12 against Doctor Ali and his dispenser under section 319 of PPC with no arrest so far. Per details, one Babar Ali, resident of Chungi Amr Sidhu visited the private clinic of Doctor Ali for circumcision of his newly born baby named Ali. The doctor administered an injection which reacted and claimed the life of the neonate. As a result, the family of victim baby gathered on road and staged a protest demonstration. Local police reached the scene and assured them of justice. Police also conducted raid but the accused managed to flee. Police have registered a case against accused doctor and his dispenser for further action.

SOUTH DAKOTA: Prisoner sues for wrongful infant circumcision
April 16, 2012

SD man's lawsuit says circumcision 'robbed' him

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — A South Dakota prison inmate is suing the hospital where he was circumcised as a newborn, saying he only recently became aware that he'd undergone the procedure and that it robbed him of his sexual prowess.

Dean Cochrun, 28, is asking for $1,000 in compensatory and punitive damages. He also asks in the lawsuit that his foreskin be restored "in the hopes I could feel whole again," though he acknowledged that he didn't expect such a restoration to be anything more than aesthetic.

Cochrun, who is imprisoned in Sioux Falls on a kidnapping conviction, filed the federal lawsuit Friday against Sanford Hospital. Cochrun claims that an "unknown doctor" at the then-named Sioux Valley Hospital misled his mother to believe that the procedure was medically necessary. Cochrun argues that the procedure was unnecessary, unethical and without medical benefit.

"I was recently made aware of the fact that I had been (circumcised) and that ... I was robbed of sensitivity during sexual intercourse as well as the sense of security and well-being I am entitled to in my person," he argued in the lawsuit, adding that neither he nor his partners would "have that sensitivity during sexual intercourse and have a normal sex life."

Cochrun isn't represented by a lawyer in the lawsuit, which includes a letter from Sanford officials responding to a letter requesting that his foreskin be replaced. Patient relations representative DyAnn Smith replied that Sanford would not pay for the procedure.

"There will be no further correspondence about this matter," she wrote.

MANCHESTER, UK: Midwife charged after circumcision death

Oldham Chronicle
April 16, 2012

Midwife on baby death charge

A MIDWIFE has been charged with manslaughter after a baby bled to death following a circumcision.

Grace Adeleye (66), of Sarnia Court, Salford, appeared in the dock for the first time at Oldham Magistrates Court on Friday, charged with the manslaughter of Goodluck Caubergs by gross negligence.

The court heard the incident happened on April 17, 2010, in Oldham, and adjourned the case to a court hearing tomorrow at Manchester Crown Square Crown Court.

No plea was indicated by Adeleye and she was given conditional bail, which consisted of not leaving the UK and not to carry out any circumcisions.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

LAHORE, PAKISTAN: Rally against forced conversion, circumcision, marriage

Asia News
April 13, 2012

Lahore: Christians and Hindus against "religious fascism" and forced conversions to Islam

By Jibran Khan

Young Christian and Hindu women are being abducted, forcibly converted and married off against their will. Young Christian men and boys are being forcibly circumcised. Young Hindu men are jailed for befriending young Muslim women. In the past five years, between 400 and 500 Christians have been forced to convert to Islam.

Lahore (AsiaNews) - "Several young Hindu women have been kidnapped from their homes in the dark of night, and dragged off to be forcibly converted to Islam. Usually, this conversion is accompanied by a signing of the nikahnama or marriage contract, which strengthens the kidnappers side of the story," said Dilip Kumar, a Hindu activist. ...

Yesterday, together with dozens of Hindus and Christians and representatives of human rights NGOs, Kumar took part in a demonstration against the forced conversion of young men and women and the government's slow response to what has been called "religious fascism".


"In the last five years, there have been up to 400 to 500 conversions of Christians," said Peter Jacob, national director of the National Commission for Justice and Peace. "And something equally horrifying: I know of forcible circumcision of young men in Punjab and one in Baluchistan. Where are we going, one asks?"

"Two months ago, a Muslim girl became friends with three Hindu boys. The Muslim family got the boys arrested and the Hindu families killed. This is barbarianism," activist Diyal Singh said.


Friday, April 13, 2012

VICTORIA, B.C.: Rally against private circumcision clinic

Monday Magazine (Victoria, B.C.)
April 12, 2012

Foreskin rally calls for ban on infant circumcision

Verbal battle erupts over specialized private clinic

By Danielle Pope

Have you hugged your foreskin today? A passionate rally this week is calling on the government and Victoria residents to show the normally shy body part a little bold love — or at least protection.

The “Whole World/Whole Children” rally is set to gather outside one of the newest private health-care offices to start offering circumcision, Diversified Health Clinic at 1063 Fort, on Friday, April 13, at 11:30 a.m. The group will then march to the legislature lawns and finish with a protest and speeches. But while foreskins may not be an issue paramount in the minds of many (save expectant parents), rally organizers say this affects all of us more than we think.

“What this really comes down to is a human rights issue,” says Glen Callender, speaker at the event and founder of the Canadian Foreskin Awareness Project. “When you consider that infant female circumcision was banned in Canada in 1997 and is now considered a criminal offence, why is the genital mutilation of an infant male any different?”

Kira Antinuk, a local mother and nursing student who organized the rally, says that the impetus for the protest came when her organization, Victoria Circumcision Resources, heard about Dr. Neil Pollock, a Vancouver-based physician who is known for being outspoken on the issue of circumcision, bringing his practice to the Island.

“We were really concerned to hear that Dr. Pollock . . . was planning on opening up a genital-cutting clinic in Victoria,” says Antinuk. “This is not acceptable on the Island, and it shouldn’t be acceptable in B.C. at all. I don’t think a lot of people are aware of this yet.”

Pollock says he has performed over 35,000 circumcisions —...


B.C. was the first province to pull Medicare funding from circumcision back in 1984, with all other provinces following suit after research showed it was no longer a necessary medical procedure. In 2009, the B.C. College of Physicians and Surgeons stated the procedure should be delayed until the child can make his own decision, and the Canadian Pediatric Society now states on its website the relative risks of the foreskin being left intact alongside the proven risks of removing it.

Since circumcisions are no longer covered provincially or performed in hospitals, private health clinics are left to pick up the slack from parents and some adults still wanting to perform the procedure. That privatized bias is exactly what concerns Callender, who says clinics are now preying on misinformed parents to push the invasive procedure onto children who cannot give their consent.

“Criminal law protects the foreskin of a girl, the hood of her clitoris, but not of a boy — yet it’s the same translated body part,” says Callender. “So much of what we hear about why circumcision is ‘good’ is misinformation from years ago, or even old wives tales, but the tales stick. We have to recognize the severe and detrimental impacts not only of making a decision for an individual who cannot consent, but that this is a form of assault, and we need the government to say ‘No more.’”


Callender emphasizes that the rally is not an effort to prevent circumcision on the whole — it’s a plea to halt the procedures on infants, ...


A YouTube video of the rally (6:32).

WINNIPEG: The Holy Atheist gently deals to circumcision

Uptown Mag (Winnipeg)
April 12, 2012

Introducing The Holy Atheist

Stevie Ray Fromstein takes a hilarious - and non-confrontational - approach to religion

By Jared Story

Born again. Stevie Ray Fromstein’s comedy career was rejuvenated when he found religion... kind of.


"The Holy Atheist idea kind of came out of one conversation I had with a friend of mine where we started talking about (religion) and I was making her laugh, and I thought, maybe I can actually talk about this and be funny, as well," Fromstein says over the phone from his home in Los Angeles.

"I went up onstage to give it a try and it was a disaster. ...

Fromstein has since refined his atheistic act ...


The Holy Atheist’s favourite and most difficult target is circumcision. A Jew (at least culturally), Fromstein is a bit miffed he wasn’t consulted on the cutting of his foreskin. He believes the reasons for the prepuce-removal practice are preposterous.

"They say it’s important for a boy to look like his father, but how do we know that?" Fromstein says. "Where is the study? Where are all the serial killers whose penis didn’t match their fathers? Plus, your penis doesn’t look anything like your father’s when you’re a little kid. My dad had a huge penis. Mine didn’t look anything like his, but it didn’t traumatize me, I was proud of my dad.

"The other argument you hear is that it’s cleaner to be circumcised when, in fact, it’s not cleaner — the foreskin protects the penis. Even if it was somehow cleaner, there’s now an exciting alternative to surgery called soap. It’s absurd, but these are the two arguments you’ll hear from everybody. It’s like an old wives’ tale that became science."

Get more of Fromstein’s take on circumcision and other religion-related matters at www.theholyath[ei] and follow him on Twitter @TheHolyAtheist.


UGANDA: Bishop condemns circumcision again
April 12, 2012

Uganda: Bishop Against Circumcision

By Chris Mugasha

The Bishop of West Ankole diocese Rt. Rev. Yona Katoneene has appealed to the ministry of health to fund activities that aim at behavioral change in society.

He criticized the ministry saying a lot of money has been put into the campaign to promote safe male circumcision instead of devoting such funds to promoting messages of behavioral change especially among the youth.

Katoneene said if such money was used to support the youth groups to purchase bicycles to move from house-to-house and sensitise their fellow youth about abstinence and dangers of HIV/AIDS, the spread of the scourge would be contained.

Katoneene recalled that President Yoweri Museveni's message of abstinence [faithfulness and condoms] had created a positive impact in containing the scourge.

He also asked the ministry of health facilitate the clergy to spread the messages of abstinence, faithfulness among couples and behavioral change. [And condoms.]

Katoneene was on Thursday preaching during a special service for the clergy in the diocese where all the priests renewed their priestly vows.

Describing the ministry's approach as shooting off side, Katoneene also noted that the message of safe male circumcision was poorly packaged.

"After circumcision some people think that it is a ticket for one to engage in [unprotected] sex and this is likely to worsen the spread of HIV/AIDS in communities," Katoneene said.

He said people who have been fearing to engage in sexual acts because of HIV/AIDS have now been lured to circumcise and join the wagon.

Katoneene explained that as church, if circumcision was being encouraged for other health reasons they would not be having any problem with it but promoting it on the basis that it will minimize the spread of HIV/AIDS is encouraging people to engage in immoral activities.


Earlier Story

Thursday, April 12, 2012

SWAZILAND: Men refuse, so babies circumcised

The Guardian

April 11, 2012

Aids and ignorance thrive as Swaziland struggles for funds to fight disease

By David Smith in Mbabane

Despite improving healthcare and information campaigns, country still has world's highest infection rate

Swaziland has the miserable distinction of the highest HIV rate in the world, with more than one in four adults estimated to be carrying the virus. It accounts for nearly half the deaths of children under five.


"There are many problems in the country," said a spokesman for the Swaziland Coalition of Concerned Civic Organisations. ...

"When a western NGO puts out a message about condoms, someone turns up on radio in the local language, SiSwati, and says, 'Don't be silly, our job is to produce children.'"

Research has found that, despite government information campaigns, understanding of HIV/Aids is poor. A campaign funded by the US President's Emergency Plan for Aids Relief (Pepfar) to encourage men to undergo circumcision – not a tradition in Swaziland – fell well short of its target. [Maybe because men understand what they would lose and how little they'd gain.]

But circumcision of newborn boys is proving more successful. [Sure - because they have no choice. There is NO evidence that circumcising babies has any effect on HIV.] ...


Ncamsile Mkhwanazi, a staff nurse, ... criticised the recent circumcision drive. "Men believed that once you are circumcised you are prevented from catching HIV. It was not clear."

But she said communities were no longer being devastated as they once were. "Now people are taking the drugs so the death rate is decreasing...."


Monday, April 9, 2012

UGANDA: Bishop condemns circumcision - for "encouraging promiscuity"

the Daily Monitor (Uganda)
April 8, 2012

Stop labelling us terrorists, clerics say

By Betty Ndagire

In Summary
During the Good Friday Ecumenical Public Way of the Cross walk in Kampala, clerics turned the hit on the government and politicians over calling church leaders terrorists. The clerics said it is their duty to point out wrongs and correct some, which does not make them opposition.

Clerics have advised government to focus its attention on solving issues affecting citizens and warned against being labelled ‘terrorists’ whenever they criticise the running of the country.


Circumcision not the deal

Meanwhile, the Bishop of West Ankole Diocese, the Rev. Yona Katoneene, has criticised the Ministry of Health over its ‘safe male circumcision’ campaign. He said the practice is encouraging promiscuity. [So the Bishop would rather rely on fear of a deadly disease to help him promote his moral precepts?]

“Whether you are circumcised or not, you get infected with HIV. We are telling the people we lead that they should not be deceived that getting circumcised will make them safer. As a church, we encourage people to abstain and those who get married remain faithful to their partners,” Bishop Katoneene said. [This is dangerously confused. Let him promote his morality as morality, not as a variety of safer sex.]

Preaching on Good Friday, Rev. Katoneene blamed government, especially the Ministry of Education for failing to fund activities that would influence behavioural change in society. “We are not against circumcision but the way the campaign is packaged is wrong. The picture given in the campaign shows that when you circumcise, you can’t acquire HIV, which is absolutely wrong,” Rev. Katoneene said. [And very, very dangerous.]

Friday, April 6, 2012

KENYA: Men bribed to be circumcised

The Star (Kenya)
April 5, 2012

Cash incentives for uncut Nyanza youth

By Samuel Otieno

Boda boda [bicycle taxi] operators in Nyanza province might be given cash incentives to persuade them to get circumcised, a national task force has said. ''Despite much progress in male circumcision in Nyanza, majority of the targeted youth remain uncircumcised,'' said the National Male Circumcision Task Force. According to the task force, the primary target group of sexually active group, especially those in their 20s, is becoming a hindrance to the operation as they cite loss of income during the recuperation period as the reason for not being circumcised.

The task force chairman, Jackson Kioko, said yesterday: ''Most of the men aged 25 years are shying away from the cut for numerous reason such as lack of loss of income and demands by their partners as well possible complications.'' He said the task force is looking into ways of tapping into the age bracket with possibilities of offering stipends, if need be, to those who will undergo the cut. “Most of those who defy the cut and are within the target group are the boda boda guys who fear loss of income,” said Kioko.

He said a pilot programme has been launched in one of the districts in the province that will entail building shades for the initiates to gauge the level of acceptance in a conducive working environment. Said Kioko: ''Most of those defying the cut were basing their argument on misinformation about the voluntary medical male circumcision. We will invest in dissemination of proper research information to the public about voluntary male circumcision.''

Among other strategies, he revealed that they want to employ include work place intervention and weekend camps for the targeted age groups. Early studies by male circumcision consortium said a misconceptions about Male circumcision has been discouraging some men from getting the “cut.” Among the main reasons the study participants cited for not getting circumcised were missing time from work during the healing period after the procedure, the length of the required post-surgical period of sexual abstinence, and the possibility of experiencing serious side effects.

The findings and other results of the qualitative study were conducted by researchers from the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), the Nyanza Reproductive Health Society (NRHS), Impact Research and Development Organization, and the University of Nairobi with support from the Male Circumcision Consortium. The study involved 12 focus group discussions with men who said that they were not circumcised and did not plan to get circumcised. The 121 men, ages 18 to 40, were recruited at markets, shopping centres, and workplaces in Kisumu East, Nyando, and Kisumu West districts.

The occupations represented included bicycle transporters and other workers in the informal sector, students, farmers, and shop or kiosk owners, as well as teachers, fishermen, drivers, and religious leaders. Time away from work and cultural beliefs were considered the primary barriers to male circumcision. Younger men consider male circumcision a medical intervention, while older men were more likely to refer to it as a cultural practice meant for other ethnic groups.

[The amount of effort being put into circumcision - at the expense of AIDS prevention that is known to work - is obscene. If this much energy and money had been put into promoting condoms, safe-sex practices and sterile medical facilities 10 or 20 years ago, the epidemic would have been licked by now.]

Sunday, April 1, 2012

UGANDA: Circumcision campagns failing, clergy enlisted

the Monitor (Uganda)
March 30, 2012

Support circumcision to prevent Aids, health officials tell clergy

By Rajab Mukombozi

Health officials have urged religious leaders to join them in promoting male circumcision to fight HIV/Aids. During a meeting on HIV/Aids in Mbarara Town on Tuesday, health officials noted that religious leaders command a big following and that their negative stance on some strategies like condom use are a setback to the fight against the pandemic.

The Executive Director of Mbarara Regional Referral Hospital, Dr George Upenytho, said: “Safe male circumcision is a government policy but it has lagged behind. We need support of all stakeholders, including religious leaders from all denominations.”

He said male circumcision should not be looked at as a strategy for only HIV/Aids prevention but also other diseases like cervical and penis cancer. [A "cure" looking for a disease....] The Mbarara Senior Health Officer, Mr Lubega Kazooba, said male circumcision has proven to be a good strategy for prevention of HIV/Aids [not in the field] but added that it should be used alongside other strategies of abstinence, being faithful and using condoms.

The Rev. Apollo Tweteise of All Saints Church Mbarara said the church is not against male circumcision but added that its promotion should be well packaged such that the church is not seen as promoting immorality. [If they promote circumcision and condemn condoms they are guilty of murder.]

Dr Isaac Kigozi, an official of Mulago-Mbarara Joint Aids Programme, which convened the meeting, said they have circumcised more than 4000 males in the district since May last year. He added that they are going to extend the service to all health centre IVs in the district.

UGANDA: Overworked doctors circumcise men ahead of caring for HIV babies

Gant Daily
March 29, 2012

HIV services in western refugee camps overwhelmed


Isingiro, Uganda (IRIN) – Health workers manning five health centers in two refugee camps in the southwestern Ugandan district of Isingiro say they are overwhelmed by the high number of refugees and local residents in need of HIV services.

... Medical Teams International (MTI) , a medical NGO that works in humanitarian emergencies ... runs two clinics of its own and supports three government health centers in the settlements. Some 180 health workers, only three of whom are doctors, are responsible for a population of over 139,000 people – 63,749 refugees and more than 76,000 local residents – in the area, which has an HIV prevalence of 6 percent.

The UN Refugee Agency , which provides MTI with US$2 per refugee per year for medication, says it difficult to recruit and retain health personnel to work among Uganda’s refugee populations.

Dr Isaac Odongo, MTI’s regional program manager for southwestern Uganda, noted that the need for information on HIV and sexually transmitted infections (STIs) was crucial for refugees, many of whom came from conflict-prone areas of the Democratic republic of Congo (DRC) where such information was hard to come by.

“The HIV infection rates are generally low among the refugees when they just come [but] with time, they get into reckless activities [unprotected sex] with locals and they get infected,” he said.

Uganda suffers from a chronic shortage of health workers – less than half of the vacant health positions are filled –


At one of the health centers in Nakivale refugee settlement there are 69 HIV-exposed infants who need close monitoring and supervision. However, the health center has only one general doctor, Dr Gideon Ndaula, who has to see HIV-positive people as well as other patients, and the same scenario is repeated in health centers across the settlement.

On the day IRIN/PlusNews visited the facility, Ndaula was performing male circumcisions and was unable to attend to other patients. Uganda’s Ministry of Health has embarked on a large-scale voluntary medical male circumcision program as part of HIV prevention efforts.


Health workers are often too busy to provide counseling on infant feeding for HIV-positive mothers, many of whom could infect their babies through incorrect feeding methods .

Florence Ajonye, the HIV/AIDS focal person at the heal facility in Nakivale settlement, told IRIN/PlusNews that patients often had to wait to be enrolled on life-prolonging ARV drugs, even when they qualified.

“There are so many patients here to see. The doctor sees between 30 and 50 [every day] – far too many to ensure adequate attention. Sometimes people wait for hours to be attended to. As a result… we start with those who are critically ill,” she said.

“The supplies are not enough. There are times we run short of ARVs and Septrin [an antibiotic used to prevent opportunistic infections] for our patients. ... ”

“At times we have come here [the health center] and found no drugs,” said one patient.... ”

SEATTLE: Another flaw in prostate study - undetected cancer in controls

Medscape Urology (with video)
March 28, 2012

By Dr. Gerald Chodak

The latest headline appearing on the wire services reports an association between circumcision and the risk for developing or not developing prostate cancer in the future. This is based on a study published in Cancer, in which Wright and colleagues[1] looked at 2 case/control populations of about 1700 men.

Each of the 2 studies reported on whether or not the study cohort had been circumcised, their ages at first intercourse, and whether they had sexually transmitted diseases. The results showed about a 15% lower incidence of prostate cancer in the men who had undergone circumcision before beginning sexual activity. [And the statistical significance of the claim is quite marginal.]

These findings, and the headlines, have stimulated a lot of discussion about whether or not this lends support for circumcision and whether or not we should use it as a basis for recommending circumcision for newly born boys.

First, we need to realize that this is not the type of study that proves cause and effect, which means that the association may or may not be valid. Other important criticisms about the study should be mentioned. For example, the fact that men in the control group had not been diagnosed with prostate cancer does not mean that they do not have prostate cancer. It is unclear how many of them had undergone screening or prostate biopsies to determine whether microscopic disease was present. [Since they were obtained by a random telephone survey, probably very few.]

We know from autopsy studies that about 30% of the men may indeed have undetected prostate cancer. If that were the case here, it would certainly have an effect on the real difference in prostate cancer incidence in circumcised vs uncircumcised men.

At the end of the day, we have a lot of hype and publicity about a study that really does not prove whether or not circumcision reduces the likelihood of developing prostate cancer. There are other ongoing debates about the merits or risks associated with circumcision in newborn children that will not be resolved by the presence of these new data.

For now, all we can say is that this study found an interesting association, but the flaws in the study mean that the results are very questionable. We need better evidence before we can truly say that circumcision prevents prostate cancer. This study does not make that proof, nor does the authors' claim that it is proof of a cause and effect.

Earlier story

The First Post

This is the beginning of a project for the website. Starting from today, news articles and critiques from the webmaster will appear on the homepage, as well as on this blog. In doing so, it is hoped that the news as it appears on will become easier to follow.

For an archive of past news articles and their critiques, visit: