Male circumcision continues to be debated in America.

This spring ABC News tracked the war waged on the procedure in San Francisco as anti-circumcision “inactivitsts” attempted to ban infant circumcision altogether. This summer Colorado became the 19th state to defund Medicaid coverage for infant circumcision, following in the footsteps of South Carolina, which made the cut in February.

With more states considering defunding as a way to cut health care costs, two Johns Hopkins epidemiologists decided it was time to speak up for circumcision. In an editorial published today in the Journal of the American Medical Association, Dr. Aaron Tobian and Dr. Ronald Gray argue for the medical benefits of circumcising boys in infanthood, citing several observational studies and recent clinical trials that show it reduces the transmission of sexually transmitted diseases such as HIV, HPV and herpes by about a third in both men and their female sexual partners.

“This is a simple surgery that’s been performed for over 6,000 years.  Clearly it’s safe to perform, and it has clear medical benefits,” says Tobian.

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