The NYC health commissioner hosted a forum at an LGBT center to talk about a possible plan to try to get demographics at risk for HIV to get themselves circumcised as a means of preventing AIDS. Last month, the NY Times reported that the city's health department was in the early stages of such a plan, although the health commission says now that they're just checking out their options.
My question is why in the world are these people pursuing this? Let's start with the fact that there's absolutely no evidence to support the idea that cicumcision reduces the risk of HIV. The idea is that foreskin has a bunch of Langerhans cells which might attract the virus from vaginal fluid. Even the evidence that it helps the straights is still sketchy and in its early stages of research. But you add to all that the fact that we're having trouble getting people to use condoms. If someone's not going to use a condom, will he actually go in for circumcision? It just seems like outpatient care isn't the preferable option over a piece of latex.
Besides the extra pleasure of going condomless, many gay men seek sexual authenticity, that when you do it with a condom, it isn't real sex. I'm not trying to dispel that notion here, especially since it's a legitimate way to look at condomless sex. What I am saying is that since some men risk their lives to maintain the integrity of real sex, does the New York health department think that it's a viable option to tell those specific men that they need to have part of their bodies cut off?
"Solutions" like this one seem to just be beating around the bush by not seeking out the reasons why gay men bareback. They're not stupid. They're not suicidal. They have a right to sexual pleasure. Now let's talk about the responsibilities that come with that right, not lining them up to chop off a part of their bodies.