Thursday, December 15, 2011

The 'Circumcision Song' Hits Airwaves Across Africa Thanks to Bill Gates' Funding

By Danelle Frisbie © 2011

Max Chiwara, Oliver Mtukudzi, Enoch Piroro and Strovers Masobwe on stage together this fall.

It is difficult for me to temper the sick feeling rising up as I listen to the lyrics of this 8 1/2 minute recording and picture the multitudes of African men (and their unknowing partners) who are being blindly hoodwinked by the new "Circumcision Song" playing everywhere that money will buy air time across southern Africa.

Production and recording of the song was funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and is performed by three of Africa's well known musicians - legendary singer/guitarist, Oliver Mtukudzi from Zimbabwe, and pop stars, Winky Dee, also of Zimbabwe, and Vee from Botswana. Backup musicians for the song were gathered and coached by Kumbirai Chatora from PSI/Zimbabwe. PSI and the Champions for an HIV Free Generation in Botswana coordinated production and recording (including the final choice of lyrics).

The song launched live at the International Conference on AIDS and Sexually Transmitted Infections in Africa (ICASA) in Addis Ababa, December 4-8. [See program here.] The reception was lead by former president of Botswana, Festus Mogae, and in attendance were the many donors and stakeholders pushing the "Voluntary Medical Male Circumcision" act as a vaccine of sorts for HIV.

During the opening reception for the song's release, over 200 individuals dressed in suits got up out of their chairs and danced away to the tune, chanting with the lyrics..."If you know you are a champion...get circumcised!"

The entire ordeal is heavily reminiscent of the Tuskegee studies - only we've transported the racist 'medical' acts to another nation where they cannot be under public informed U.S. scrutiny. This time, instead of pushing black men into vaccine/disease trials through exclusive print advertisement, or telling these same men they 'must' participate, or simply lying to them face to face, or doing something to them without their knowledge or consent, we are manipulating entire nations into a decision that not only impedes their normal sexual functioning (and that of their partners) but also deceives them into believing they are somehow now protected against HIV and other sexually transmitted infections - a misconception that is costing more lives, not less, each year in areas where mass circumcision takes place and HIV is rampant.

It's tough to convince adult men to amputate the best part of their most cherished member... some have suggested this is the reason 32% of Americans continue to cut newborn babies instead - they cannot fight back. There is no 'convincing' them - no one who can verbally say 'NO' with anything other than torrential screams and kicks. Today, instead of following the voluntary circumcision proposal for adults, some African nations are beginning to follow suit, like the districts' hospitals in Uganda where all baby boys will now be cut at birth - no questions asked. Grown men should have every right to make informed decisions about what they do or do not do to their own bodies. Babies, male or female, are also deserving of that same basic level of autonomy over their bodies - to have the option for decisions to be made when they are adults, and not have that choice stolen from them.

But the tune is catchy.

The musicians are some of the biggest and best in Africa.

The money is flowing in.

And, besides, you're a smart man! You're a bright man! The African ladies love a circumcised man! You want to be cool, and clean, and healthy! And if you'll really be a champion...why not cut off a part of your penis?


The Circumcision Song
[Listen Below]

What are you waiting for?
It's cool. It's clean.
It protects. It saves lives.
Get Circumcised!
What are you waiting for, Zimbabwe?
What are you waiting for, Botswana?
What are you waiting for, Lesotho?
Get Circumcised!

What are you waiting for?
It's cool. It's clean.
It protects. It saves lives.
Get Circumcised!

See a brighter destination!
(Are you a bright man?)
And a smarter generation!
(Are you a smart man?)
If you know you are a champion!
(Get circumcised!)
Get Circumcised!
[Repeated several times.] 

You have to remember -
Male circumcision can be healthier,
Protect against penile cancer,
Protect against HIV.
The spreading of the virus, rise of me tempa -
So, let's go, Africa! Let's go.

Africa, let's get circumcised!
I got me emphasize:
The spreading of the virus, night and day,
Cannot be justified.
Let them know it is clean and simple.
Get Circumcised African people!

We live by example, so -
Let's go, Africa! Let's go.

See a brighter destination!
(Are you a bright man?)
And a smarter generation!
(Are you a smart man?)
If you know you are a champion!
(Get circumcised!)
Get Circumcised!
[Repeated several times.] 

What's up my brother?
Let me tell you a secret -
In Africa -
They love circumcised men.
Please do it: make 'em well.
Please - it's quick and simple.
They don't feel it...
It's quick and simple.
African men: invest in your lives!
Let's treat it well.
Invest in protection against HIV and STI by 60%.

African Men! African Men! African Men!

See a brighter destination!
(Are you a bright man?)
And a smarter generation!
(Are you a smart man?)
If you know you are a champion! 
(Get circumcised!)
Get Circumcised!
[Repeated several times.] 

If you know you are a CHAMPION! 






Related Reading:






Sub-Saharan African randomized clinical trials into male circumcision and HIV transmission: Methodology, ethical and legal concerns [pdf]

Circumcision and HIV: Harm Outweighs Benefit

ABC: Not Circumcision

South African Doctor Warns Against Using Circumcision to Fight HIV

African HIV/Circumcision Study Ends Early: Too many women becoming infected

Uganda Woman Divorces Husband for Getting Circumcised

African Healer Sees Higher HIV Rates, Lower Condom Use After Circumcision 

Two Boys, One Man Die From Circumcision in Eastern Cape

Malawi rules out circumcision as AIDS-prevention: No evidence that it works

The Nuts and Bolts of HIV in the USA and why Circumcision Won't Protect Men

Flawed Studies Used to Claim Circumcision Reduces HIV Infection

Why is Circumcision so Prevalent in Africa?

Political determinants of variable etiology resonance: Explaining the African AIDS epidemic [abstract]

Double standards in research ethics, healthcare safety, and scientific rigour allowed Africa's HIV/AIDS epidemic disasters

Male Circumcision and HIV Prevention: Insufficient Evidence and Neglected External Validity [pdf]

Male circumcision and its relationship to HIV infection in South Africa: Results of a national survey in 2002

How the Circumcision Solution in Africa Will Increase Infections [abstract]

Male Circumcision is NOT the HIV Vaccine We've Been Waiting For

Circumcision is Not a Cure-all for AIDS

The Use of Male Circumcision to Limit HIV Infection [NOCIRC]
The Use of Male Circumcision to Limit HIV Infection [Doctors Opposing Circumcision]

The Cost to Circumcise Africa [pdf]

The Truth About Circumcision and HIV

Norm Cohen [video interview] on HIV and Circumcision

A Myth that Kills: AIDS Industry Feeds on Fear

Uganda: Mad Rush for Male Circumcision

Circumcision: Already Illegal?

Here we go again: New York Times publishes headline on HIV and Circumcision

Male Circumcision and HIV [website]


21 comments:

  1. This literally makes me feel sick to my stomach :( We should try to convince Bill Gates to remove his name (and more importantly, his funding) from this insane propaganda!

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  2. I think I'm going to throw up. :-(

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  3. You have nearly a 50-50 chance of not getting infected whether even if you get cut. Why risk losing a body part if you would have never gotten infected with intact penis.

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  4. The expression "pissing in people's mouths and telling them it's rain" comes to mind.

    This is absolutely disgusting.

    But more angering is, these campaigns to circumcise millions in Africa has been going on since 2006.

    Why isn't any intactivist organization that I know of trying to raise awareness?

    "All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing"
    ~Edmund Burke

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  5. FUCKING DISGUSTING when will the world wake up. Its condoms that stops the spread of AIDS, not mutilating babies

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  6. Bill's not looking at the science. Which makes me think he's got another motive for spending so much money on misinformation.

    Also interesting that the song specifically mentions Lesotho, where circumcised men are MORE likely to contract HIV.

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  7. "What are you waiting for, Lesotho?"

    Maybe for circumcision to start working?

    Lesotho
    In Lesotho, 23% of the men are circumcised, and the ratio circumcised men vs. intact men who contracted HIV was found to be 22.8 vs 15.2.

    "The relationship between male circumcision and HIV levels in Lesotho does not conform to the expected pattern of higher rates among uncircumcised men than circumcised men. The HIV rate is in fact substantially higher among circumcised men (23 percent) than among men who are not circumcised (15 percent). Moreover, the pattern of higher infection rates among circumcised men compared with uncircumcised men is virtually uniform across the various subgroups for which results are shown in thetable. This finding could be explained by the Lesotho custom to conduct male circumcision later in life, when the individuals have already been exposed to the risk of HIV infection. (Additional analysis is necessary to better understand the unexpected pattern in Table 12.9.)" (p. 13)

    What is disturbing here is that it seems researchers grope for a reason to dismiss these results because they are not what they are looking for; a positive result for circumcision. The above is an interesting defense of male circumcision, given the fact that the latest "studies," if they can even be called that, observed HIV trasmission in men circumcised as adults. Then again, this demographic health survey was conducted in 2004, BEFORE the newer "studies" in 2006. None the less, the unproven assertion that "circumcision is only effective in reducing the risk of HIV when done in infancy" persists in some circles.
    http://www.measuredhs.com/pubs/pdf/FR171/12Chapter12.pdf

    Yes, Lesotho, what are you waiting for!

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  8. Bill Gates has been funding circumcisions in Africa for years...it is sickening. Someone so smart can be so insanely stupid.

    How about lets not reuse plastic needles in Africa, and lets use condoms across Africa!

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  9. Here's the Gates Foundation Twitter: www.twitter.com/gatesfoundation - I would suggest tweeting them. Twitter campaign to inundate them anyone? I know I'll be sending them a tweet!

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  10. Wow. I am also disgusted. I am saddened that this was funded by the Gates Foundation- they could do so much goog and instead this is what they are doing? How can we create a public outcry in the US that might make a difference?

    Thank you for sharing.

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  11. Gates is well on the way to becoming known as the greatest hacker of all time.

    I wonder why he's scared of African males?

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  12. I wrote about this a while back when they started introducing routine circumcision for babies in the area I live (Natal, South Africa). In a place where infant mortality is sky high and breastfeeding rates are dropping - lets introduce painful procedures that could increase infections and decrease bfding rates all because it "may" reduce the risk of HIV infection. I questioned a epideamiolist about it and was told that it makes condom use more likely too, because they are easier to put on if the man is circumcised.
    Ironic that health care workers seem to think that people wont listen to how to co sleep safely and instead issue blanket statements but think that people will hear "getting circumsized protects against HIV but you must also use a condom" when actually I can just see most men using it as an excuse to NOT wear a condom. Really just keep it simple and go back to the Abstain, Be faithful, Condomise (ABC) message.

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  13. Guh. Considering how much of the HIV problem in Africa is due to poor sanitation ... let's make more open wounds! Because of COURSE every circumcision's going to be completely sterile -- NOT. Imagine babies getting HIV at the same time as they're being mutilated against their will ... that's where this is going to lead to.

    Yup, feeling sick now.

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  14. Does anyone know what Bill's major malfunction is on this issue? Is it just that he is circumcised himself and is so rich that he can have anything he wants except his foreskin back, so now the rest of the world has to suffer too? Or is it just blatant racism? These circumcision campaigns in Africa will only increase the spread of HIV in the long run. Anyone with a brain should be able to figure that out, so I don't understand.

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  15. I feel sick - totally sick. I'm in the midst of writing a piece to urge Caribbean people to resist circumcision because as black people and in a region with high HIV rates we are next to be targeted - I can just imagine...circumcise to a reggae beat - oh God I feel even more sick now. Thank you so much for all your information and links...I'll be using them.

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  16. Wow. They're going to hate us for this someday. Sick.

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  17. Sick, sick, sick. Just shows how low they will stoop.

    James

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  18. Damn circumcision.

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