Bill and Melinda Gates’ talk at TED Vancouver was protested this evening by activists from the Vancouver-based Canadian Foreskin Awareness Project.
The group was seen outside the Vancouver Convention Centre protesting the Gates’ family $145-million funding for circumcision programs in Africa as a means of combatting the spread of HIV/AIDS.
“Literally no one on Earth is more detrimental to foreskin than Bill Gates,” said CAN-FAP founder Glen Callender on Facebook.
The group has deemed Gates as “foreskin enemy #1” and doubts the World Health Organization research that claims male circumcision can reduce the transmission of the virus by about 60 per cent.
According to the group, it will result in tens of millions of men and boys being unnecessarily circumcised and Gates will hold sole responsibility. They are also concerned about its potential detrimental effects in combatting the virus.
“Soon it will be obvious that circumcision gave these men false confidence, not effective protection,” Callender says. “HIV infection is caused by unsafe sex with infected partners, not circumcision status. The HIV threat must be faced with education, not mutilation.”
“Their efforts to develop a thinner, stronger, more pleasurable condom are commendable. But if you want to preserve sexual pleasure, um, don’t circumcise! Circumcision amputates tens of thousands of nerve endings, as well as the most sensitive parts of the penis. That’s a big deal.”
Bill and Melinda Gates have actively donated millions to advance HIV/AIDS research and treatment. Through the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, they are attempting to develop an HIV vaccine and methods to reduce transmission such as through thinner, more pleasurable condoms and male circumcision.
Featured Image: Bill Gates via Shutterstock