Progress in the effort against the barbaric practice of genital mutilation

U.S. Circumcision Rates on the Decline

By TARA PARKER-POPE
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The rate of circumcision among American baby boys appears to be declining, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Roni Caryn Rabin reported for The New York Times that the new numbers were released without fanfare last month at the International AIDS conference in Vienna by Charbel E. El Bcheraoui, a C.D.C. researcher.

The presentation was not covered by any mainstream news media, but a report by the news service Elsevier Global Medical News, along with a photograph of a slide from the presentation, quickly made the rounds of the blogosphere.

The slide portrays a precipitous drop in circumcision, to just 32.5 percent in 2009 from 56 percent in 2006. The numbers are based on calculations made by SDI Health, a company in Plymouth Meeting, Pa., that analyzes health care data; they do not include procedures outside hospitals (like most Jewish ritual circumcisions) or not reimbursed by insurance.

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