2007_04_scalpel.jpgAfter the NY Times reported the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene wanted to encourage adult men at risk for HIV/AIDS to get circumcised, Mayor Bloomberg distanced himself a bit from such a program. According to today's NY Times, Bloomberg officials "cautioned that [a campaign to promote circumcision] was still in its infancy and not yet something the administration had decided to pursue."

Asked about the approach at a news conference, Mr. Bloomberg expressed support for seeking new ways to combat the disease, but suggested that he was unconvinced that government should be involved in promoting or providing circumcisions.

“I have not had a chance to talk to Tom Frieden and Alan Aviles about this,” Mr. Bloomberg said, referring to Health Commissioner Thomas R. Frieden and Alan D. Aviles, chairman of the Health and Hospitals Corporation.

Some black AIDS activists were skeptical about the plan, with one telling the Post, "For anyone to think there is going to be a long line of men in their 20s lining up to have part of their anatomy chopped off, it's ludicrous."

The New York Blade has an editorial giving "kudos to health commissioner Dr. Thomas R. Frieden for initiating a program that he had to know would be met with disapproval by many." The Blade adds, "We suspect, however, that he’ll encounter opposition from within the gay community soon enough. His upcoming efforts to promote circumcision among men at high risk for HIV will no doubt be controversial. But that’s another editorial altogether."