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Tinderbox Author Hopes to Ignite Dialogue About HIV Prevention

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Michael Buitron

I finished Tinderbox last night and it was the best overview of the epidemic and the developed world's response I've read. There are multiple factors that are impossible to condense here. Suffice to say politics and Western norms and values have done much to impede effective ways to reduce transmission. I've never been a fan of projects telling men what they should do with their penises--be they gay or African. But it's a cold hard fact that what we've tried so far hasn't worked very well.

May 4, 2012 Long Beach

Joe Parton

Wonderful. Yet another piece of pro circumcision propaganda dressed up as useful information. Mass circumcision will ultimately do more harm than good. After going through the torture of the genital mutilation won't most men, then want to have sex without a condom? After all, what was the point of getting half the skin of your penis removed if you still need use a condom? So, if this "expert" is still recommending condom use, why also encourage mutilation?

April 23, 2012 San Francisco

Frederick Wright

I will read the book for it sounds fascinating to look at this problem with AIDS as 120 years old. I confused about some of the comments about circucisum beening the main issues with prevention for it seems much deeper than a study that is directed at hygene or circucisum. For me it is like aruging which is better long hair or short hair. I wonder if the gentalmen that are commenting are defending thier penis and are uncut. Why doesn't the African do a study?

April 20, 2012 Palm Desert

Jeton Ademaj

to Brody, indeed we should present scientific evidence free of Western obsessions, but without manipulation. as Dr Joseph Sonnabend comments in one of Simon Collery's blog posts on, the real (absolute) risk-reduction that circumcised men enjoy is less than 2%, whereas the % of men who suffer medical complications from it is MUCH higher. Halperin mentions colonial exploitation yet he omits that foreskins r VERY lucratively sold to biotech companies who use them to make artificial skin.

April 19, 2012 Harlem, NYC

Alan Brody

Re, Smyth and Loewen comments, I thought Halperin said, "Itâ??s really about presenting the scientific evidence." There are three high-quality scientific studies that documented 60-75% reduction in risk of HIV transmission to circumcised males. (These complement scores of correlational studies that support the same finding). Africans have a right to know those facts, and to make their own informed choices for how to protect themselves, free of Western obsessions and impositions.

April 18, 2012 Iowa City, IA USA

Patrick Smyth

There really does seem to be a dose of baloney in this article. Are we really expected to believe that sex is better and a using a condom is easier if you are circumcised. The male penis does really suffer a bad press in this world. Nature really screwed up when it evolved this much beset part of the male anatomy, judging by the army of people that are so keen to promote the benefits of cutting some off. I cannot help but feel that there is a hidden agenda behind all this pro-circumcision talk.

April 17, 2012 Cambridge, UK

James Loewen

Tinderbox is a craftily written piece of propaganda. Reads like a romantic novel casting Halperin as the "hero" who just knows that genital cutting of every African infant, child and adult male is the key to solving AIDS in Africa. Deeply disturbing to anyone who wishes to look critically at the issue of genital cutting and the motivations of those, like Halperin who promote it.

April 17, 2012 Vancouver, BC


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