March 1, 2024

Doctors clash over circumcision in Australia

Official word is NO

Circumcision wars have broken out in
Sydney, with a leading professional body endorsing a policy which discourages
it and a group of doctors disputing this in the Medical
Journal of Australia
. Routine infant circumcision in Australia has
been discouraged for years and the Royal Australasian College of Physicians
wants it to stay that way.

However, a group of Sydney specialists has
described the practice as “sound health policy” which could reduce
the chance of transmitting HIV later in life. Sydney physician Alex Wodak
argues encouraging parents to have their baby boys circumcised is “common
sense”, given that the proportion of new HIV cases in Australia associated
with heterosexual sex was increasing. “We should be trying nationally to get
back to where we were in the 1950s and 60s where the majority of infant males
were circumcised,” he said.

However, Dr Gervase Chaney, of the College,
feels that experience in other countries is not relevant. “We don’t agree with
it. We believe that the evidence currently would not support that in Australia,
that it might be supported in other countries particularly obviously in Africa
where there are much higher rates of HIV transmitted heterosexually but that at
this stage that that is not something that we would support.” ~ ABC, Sept 20;
Sept 20

Michael Cook