Female genital mutilation of Somali women has increased the number of STDs and is a recipe for higher rates of HIV/AIDS in the country, said Hodan Farah, a Somali gynecologist. "The genital cut on Somali girls between the age of seven and 10 is a dangerous exercise that has brought misery to the lives of Somali women, because beside the health risk, the mutilation traumatizes the young [who are] compelled to follow the painful tradition," Hodan said. "Objects used for the excision are not sterilized and at the same time could again be used to mutilate more women, who could already be HIV-positive," Hodan said. Religious elder Abdi Dahir Ali immediately dismissed the medical concerns: "AIDS is a hazardous message from Allah to adulterers and other turncoats, who act sexually against nature." But Hodan said that if the practice were not legally forbidden in Somaliland, it "would inflict disastrous health risks for its women and society at large."