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.