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HEALTH
By Andrea K. Walker | August 21, 2012
I wrote today about a Johns Hopkins study that found a decline in circumcisions has cost the country $2 billion in extra medical costs in the past decade. The Hopkins scientists say they think fewer babies are getting the procedure because states aren't paying for it under Medicaid. (Maryland isn't among them.) State Medicaid plans account for two-fifths of all births. Here are the 18 states that don't cover circumcisions and the year they stopped: Colorado 2011 South Carolina 2011 Louisiana 2005 Idaho 2005 Minnesota 2005 Maine 2004 Montana 2003 Utah 2003 Florida 2003 Missouri 2002 Arizona 2002 North Carolina 2002 California before 1999 North Dakota before 1999  Oregon before 1999 Mississippi before 1999 Nevada before 1999 Washington before 1999      
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HEALTH
By Andrea K. Walker | September 13, 2012
Update: The New York City Board of Health voted unanimously to require parents to sign consent forms before their kids can have Jewish ritual circumcision. Read the New York Times account here.   A group of Johns Hopkins ethicists have written a letter to New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg supporting a proposed amendment to require written consent for circumcisions that include an orthodox Jewish practice some say leads to to herpes. The New York City Board of Health has proposed the amendment and could vote on the issue today.
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HEALTH
By Andrea K. Walker, The Baltimore Sun | August 27, 2012
The American Academy of Pediatrics is modifying its stance on circumcision for the first time in more than a decade, acknowledging that the health benefits outweigh the risks of the procedure, which involves removing the foreskin of a baby boy's penis. In new recommendations it plans to announce Monday, the group doesn't go as far as suggesting that all babies should have the operation. But when parents choose it for their sons, insurance companies and state Medicaid programs should pay for it, the academy now says.
HEALTH
By Andrea K. Walker, The Baltimore Sun | August 27, 2012
The American Academy of Pediatrics is modifying its stance on circumcision for the first time in more than a decade, acknowledging that the health benefits outweigh the risks of the procedure, which involves removing the foreskin of a baby boy's penis. In new recommendations it plans to announce Monday, the group doesn't go as far as suggesting that all babies should have the operation. But when parents choose it for their sons, insurance companies and state Medicaid programs should pay for it, the academy now says.
HEALTH
By Andrea K. Walker | September 13, 2012
Update: The New York City Board of Health voted unanimously to require parents to sign consent forms before their kids can have Jewish ritual circumcision. Read the New York Times account here.   A group of Johns Hopkins ethicists have written a letter to New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg supporting a proposed amendment to require written consent for circumcisions that include an orthodox Jewish practice some say leads to to herpes. The New York City Board of Health has proposed the amendment and could vote on the issue today.
NEWS
By Michael Gerson | June 4, 2007
WASHINGTON -- Circumcision is an, ahem, uncomfortable topic. The traditional Jewish bris calls this medical procedure a sign of blessing on the newcomer. Ten out of 10 male infants seem to disagree. During World War II, American soldiers were often circumcised to prevent the spread of sexually transmitted diseases. From the 1950s to the mid-1970s, the circumcision of American newborn boys became increasingly common. Then a minor backlash set in, and circumcision rates declined for a time.
NEWS
By Jonathan Bor and Jonathan Bor,SUN REPORTER | March 9, 2007
Circumcising HIV-infected men to prevent them from spreading the virus to their female partners might have the opposite effect, according to preliminary results of a study in Uganda by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Scientists found that infected men who resumed sexual activity before their circumcision wounds healed were more likely to spread the virus than infected men who didn't have the surgery. "This is a complicated situation ... but it seems that HIV-positive men initiating sex before wound healing is potentially dangerous for transmitting HIV," said Dr. Kevin M. De Cock, head of the World Health Organization's HIV/AIDS department.
NEWS
By LOS ANGELES TIMES | March 29, 2007
The World Health Organization recommended yesterday that circumcision immediately become part of the frontline strategy to combat AIDS - a move that the group said could save millions of lives. The benefit would be greatest in countries with widespread epidemics and low rates of circumcision, such as southern and eastern Africa, the WHO said. "The recommendations represent a significant step forward in HIV prevention," said Dr. M. Kevin De Cock, director of the WHO's HIV/AIDS Department.
NEWS
By John Donnelly and John Donnelly,NEW YORK TIMES NEWS SERVICE | November 19, 2004
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa - Men who are circumcised have a drastically lower rate of HIV infection than those who are not, according to new studies in Africa and India, suggesting that the ancient surgical procedure may play a role in helping prevent the spread of the deadly virus. One unpublished household survey in Kenya has shown that uncircumcised men have an HIV rate that is 11 times greater, while a second study in India has found uncircumcised men have a seven times higher rate of infection.
NEWS
By LAURIE GOERING and LAURIE GOERING,CHICAGO TRIBUNE | April 28, 2006
MBABANE, Swaziland -- Slipping into a green hospital gown in the waiting room, Sipo Mnisi acknowledged he was "a bit nervous." But the 31-year-old businessman, who had been waiting months for an appointment, said he was nonetheless eager to take part in the hottest medical trend in Swaziland: male circumcision. New studies suggest that circumcised men are 60 percent to 75 percent less likely to contract the virus that causes AIDS through sexual contact. In Swaziland, a deeply traditional nation with the world's highest rate of sexually transmitted HIV infection and one of the lowest rates of circumcision, that is prompting a medical revolution.
HEALTH
By Andrea K. Walker | August 21, 2012
I wrote today about a Johns Hopkins study that found a decline in circumcisions has cost the country $2 billion in extra medical costs in the past decade. The Hopkins scientists say they think fewer babies are getting the procedure because states aren't paying for it under Medicaid. (Maryland isn't among them.) State Medicaid plans account for two-fifths of all births. Here are the 18 states that don't cover circumcisions and the year they stopped: Colorado 2011 South Carolina 2011 Louisiana 2005 Idaho 2005 Minnesota 2005 Maine 2004 Montana 2003 Utah 2003 Florida 2003 Missouri 2002 Arizona 2002 North Carolina 2002 California before 1999 North Dakota before 1999  Oregon before 1999 Mississippi before 1999 Nevada before 1999 Washington before 1999      
HEALTH
By Andrea K. Walker, The Baltimore Sun | August 20, 2012
A 20-year decline in male circumcision has cost the country $2 billion in medical costs that could have been prevented, Johns Hopkins researchers say in a study released Monday. In what is believed to be the first look at the economic impact of male circumcision on the health care system, the Hopkins scientists say that boys who are not circumcised are more prone to sexually transmitted diseases and other health problems over a lifetime that are costly to treat. "The economic evidence is backing up what we already know medically," said Dr. Aaron Tobian, a Hopkins health epidemiologist and pathologist and senior researcher on the study.
NEWS
By Kelly Brewington and Kelly Brewington,kelly.brewington@baltsun.com | October 27, 2008
While researching the multitude of questions that come with being a new mother, Tina Overton encountered one that made her dizzy: whether to circumcise her newborn son. She never had reason to think about it before, let alone consider an alternative. But quickly, Overton became familiar with a small but vocal minority of parents and researchers arguing against circumcision. After months of scouring books, articles and the Internet, she reasoned the procedure was unnecessary, painful - and a violation of her son's human rights.
NEWS
By Michael Gerson | June 4, 2007
WASHINGTON -- Circumcision is an, ahem, uncomfortable topic. The traditional Jewish bris calls this medical procedure a sign of blessing on the newcomer. Ten out of 10 male infants seem to disagree. During World War II, American soldiers were often circumcised to prevent the spread of sexually transmitted diseases. From the 1950s to the mid-1970s, the circumcision of American newborn boys became increasingly common. Then a minor backlash set in, and circumcision rates declined for a time.
NEWS
By LOS ANGELES TIMES | March 29, 2007
The World Health Organization recommended yesterday that circumcision immediately become part of the frontline strategy to combat AIDS - a move that the group said could save millions of lives. The benefit would be greatest in countries with widespread epidemics and low rates of circumcision, such as southern and eastern Africa, the WHO said. "The recommendations represent a significant step forward in HIV prevention," said Dr. M. Kevin De Cock, director of the WHO's HIV/AIDS Department.
NEWS
By Jonathan Bor and Jonathan Bor,SUN REPORTER | March 9, 2007
Circumcising HIV-infected men to prevent them from spreading the virus to their female partners might have the opposite effect, according to preliminary results of a study in Uganda by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Scientists found that infected men who resumed sexual activity before their circumcision wounds healed were more likely to spread the virus than infected men who didn't have the surgery. "This is a complicated situation ... but it seems that HIV-positive men initiating sex before wound healing is potentially dangerous for transmitting HIV," said Dr. Kevin M. De Cock, head of the World Health Organization's HIV/AIDS department.
NEWS
By Meredith Schlow and Meredith Schlow,Staff Writer | October 25, 1992
Fast asleep and just eight days old, Scott Brandon Weisman is about to participate in his first religious ceremony.Scott, of course, knows nothing of this. Lying on a pillow spread across the knees of his grandmothers, Scott is lifted and passed from relative to family friend, and finally to his father. Robert Weisman turns and hands his firstborn son to Rabbi Michael Henesch, the mohel who will perform Scott's circumcision.The 3,700-year-old ritual, called a bris -- which means "covenant" in Hebrew -- fulfills a commandment that will affirm Scott's acceptance into the covenant of Abraham, and establish his identity as a Jew. As the man charged with maintaining the covenant, the mohel (pronounced MOE-el)
NEWS
By NEW YORK TIMES NEWS SERVICE | April 2, 1997
A new study has added to the criticism of routine circumcision, finding that circumcision does not lead to lower rates of sexually transmitted diseases as had been thought.The incidence of two of those diseases was even higher among circumcised men.However, sexual dysfunction was found to be slightly more common among uncircumcised men.The study also found that circumcised men were significantly more likely to engage in a varied repertoire of sexual practices.The study was the first systematic look at the effects of circumcision on disease and sexual behavior, according to a report in today's Journal of the American Medical Association.
NEWS
By Thomas von der Osten-Sacken and Thomas Uwer | February 12, 2007
Among social activists and feminists, combating female genital mutilation, or FGM, is an important policy goal. Sometimes called female circumcision or female genital cutting, FGM is the cutting of the clitoris of girls in order to curb their sexual desire and preserve their sexual "honor" before marriage. The practice, prevalent in some majority Muslim countries, has a tremendous cost: Many girls bleed to death or die of infection. Most are traumatized. Those who survive can suffer adverse health effects during marriage and pregnancy.
NEWS
By Jonathan Bor and Jonathan Bor,Sun reporter | December 14, 2006
Circumcising adult males in two African countries reduced their risk of contracting HIV by half, according to studies that could prompt calls for programs to encourage circumcision. Evidence from the clinical trials in Uganda and Kenya was so overwhelming that the National Institutes of Health closed them so researchers could offer the procedure to all participants. "This was pretty much of an unequivocal type of decision based on the data," Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, said at a news briefing yesterday.
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