The New England Journal of Medicine recently published a report about the health benefits of circumcision.  After studying the sexual patterns of 3500 Ugandan men researchers from John Hopkins concluded circumcision reduced the risk of Herpes by 25% and believe it could curb HIV.  Now I'll be candid here:  I'm one of those circumcised men.  The legend of an uncircumcised life seemed unappealing.  And yes, I said legend.  None of my pubescent peers ever confessed of having uncircumcised parts.   An uncut life seemed to exist in some far away fantastical place.  But then I was hired to pass out Hors d'ouevres at a Bris when I was twenty-two.  When I heard that month-old baby scream bloody murder when that knife went "slice", well, I was convinced circumcision was the devil's doing and the cutting of a man's penis should be his choice.  And I'm serious.

However, the John Hopkins researchers believe circumcision should re-enter the sexual health conversation among black and Latino communities.  HIV and STDs are rampant among our youth and that needs attention and prevention.  The researchers believe a circumcised penis is less likely to harbor viruses and bacteria.  Look, I'm certain circumcision could help reduce the risk of disease. But just because a young black man is sporting cut goods doesn't mean he won't have unprotected sex.  Condoms, baby, condoms!


Keith Josef Adkins is an award-winning playwright, screenwriter and social commentator.

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