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The definition of "high risk" is still being discussed, said Kilmarx, chief of the epidemiology branch in the CDC's HIV division.
Circumcision is a sensitive issue laden with cultural and religious meaning, particularly when babies are involved, Kilmarx acknowledged.
"It's seen by many as more than just as medical procedure," he said. It's possible the government would just recommend better education for doctors and parents about the procedure's benefits and risks, he added.
The prospect of the government promoting circumcision of infants has already drawn fire from an advocacy group called Intact America. The organization, based in Tarrytown, N.Y., parked a motorized billboard this week outside the hotel hosting the HIV conference, displaying the message: "Tell the CDC that circumcising babies doesn't prevent HIV."
"It's removing healthy, functioning, sexual and protective tissue from a person who cannot consent. You're mutilating a child," said Georgeanne Chapin, the group's executive director.
Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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