Circumcision does not prevent AIDS
Regarding the story on the Ugandan/Kenyan circumcision studies (“Drop in HIV infections halts circumcision trials,” Dallas Voice, Dec. 22), I must emphasize that circumcised men can and do become infected with HIV. The United States, which has perhaps the highest percentage of sexually-active non-religiously circumcised men in the developed world, also has the highest rate of HIV.
Behavior, not anatomy, is the key factor in reducing HIV/AIDS. All men, whether they are circumcised or not, should practice sane-sex behaviors, including limiting the number of their partners, using condoms wisely and getting tested periodically.
It is also significant that the subjects of the African circumcision studies mentioned in the article were consenting adults. Most of the circumcised males in this world did not consent to alteration of their sexual organs, but instead had it forced upon them for cultural or religious reasons when they were babies or children.
Any circumcision program in the United States and elsewhere should be strictly voluntary; a male can make the decision for himself when he is old enough to weigh circumcision as a potential benefit against the value of having an intact sex organ. Circumcision should only be done when absolutely medically necessary or when the adult subject gives fully informed consent regarding what will be lost.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Robert Blissitt is the Dallas contact for the Texas chapter of NOCIRC the National Organization of Circumcision Information Resource Centers, a nonprofit organization founded in 1986 in San Francisco, Calif. For information, visit www.nocircoftx.org.
In support of Robert Voelkle
Regarding criticism of Robert Voelkle in the letters to the editor section of the Dec. 15 issue of Dallas Voice, let me say that there are two sides to every coin.
Five years ago, I had a four-hour open heart surgery. I had no family to be with me. Robert Voelkle went with me to surgery and sat outside the operating room to talk with the surgeon. He returned that night to check on me.
A year later, I had eye surgery. Again, Robert Voelkle was with me and brought me home after the procedure.
Each week, he visits a nursing home to check on an elderly man who has no relatives. He spends his money on things the man needs.
He supports many members of the Legacy program at Cathedral of Hope with his own time and money.
Yes, we need a nursing home for the many aged members of the gay community. I personally support Robert Voelkle in his many endeavors.
Someday we will have that nursing home, and we will thank Robert for his earlier endeavors.
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This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition, December 29, 2006.