Circumcision haters are out in force these days, with a vote coming later this year in San Francisco on whether to ban the practice entirely. But opponents overlook the health benefits that circumcision brings, specifically how it cuts down on the transmission of HIV, writes Diane Cole in the Wall Street Journal. She should know: "My husband's circumcision saved my life," she writes.
Her late husband, a hemophiliac, acquired HIV through a blood transfusion back when AIDS was an unfamiliar acronym. They had been trying to have kids when they found out—and thus weren't using birth control—but she came up HIV-negative. "In the same way that circumcision vastly diminishes the chance of infecting women with the human papillomavirus that causes cervical cancer, studies suggest that circumcision also helps guard against the transmission of the HIV virus," she writes. It saved her life. "If the San Francisco initiative passes, and encourages other communities to do the same, who knows whose lives won't be saved."