'Zim men reject circumcision'

HARARE - More than five years into the Voluntary Medical Male Circumcision (VMMC) programme, only 50 percent of the target has been reached, as myths and fear of the knife slow down the uptake of the controversial programme.

Out of a target of 1,3 million by 2017, 600 000 men have so far been circumcised and officials are now pessimistic.

But the national male circumcision coordinator in the ministry of Health Sinokuthemba Xaba dispelled the myths associated with circumcision.

“There are issues with the foreskins and people spread all sorts of rumours but I can tell you that according to law, no foreskin is allowed to leave the hospital. We don’t even give it to the patients, all the foreskins are burnt.

“And also no one has ever lost their organ during the process, we have good monitoring and reporting systems and we would know,” Xaba said on Wednesday during an HIV workshop that ended in Harare yesterday.

Officials say if at least 80 percent of men aged between 15 and 49 are circumcised by 2017,

600 000 new HIV infections could be averted by 2025.

Zimbabwe, being among the 14 high-priority countries in Africa with a 15 percent national HIV prevalence rate opted for the circumcision route after a study found that the procedure reduced the chances of contracting HIV by 60 percent.

A little over 100 000 men are circumcised every year.

Heath experts said other benefits of VMMC included hygiene and reduced chances of contracting sexually-transmitted diseases.

The procedure also protects the female partner from getting infected by the human papilloma virus which causes cervical cancer.

Country specific studies have shown that if set targets are achieved in Zimbabwe, one in every four men will be prevented from contracting HIV.

The 14 high priority countries have a target of circumcising

20 million people.

If the target is achieved, the country is set to save $2,9 billion dollars in care costs related to HIV management.

Comments (12)

iyo yakache cheudzwa inotapira wani,Tanzwa nadzo muno muLONDON. Kudhodomorwa nadzo.smart.

rosemary shereni Margolis - 29 April 2016

I'd pay a year's salary rather than be circumcised. Promoting male circumcision seems likely to mean more people infected with HIV, not fewer. The focus should be on ABC - Abstinence, Being faithful,and especially Condoms.

Mark - 29 April 2016

This is a tragedy. Condoms are more effective and less invasive than circumcision. The studies are flawed and have conflicts of interest. Circumcision results in loss of sexual pleasure for a man and his partner.

Ronald Goldman, Ph.D. - 29 April 2016

Circumcision does NOT reduce the risk to get HIV - quite the opposite. Cut men have AIDS, not intact. This is only a big deadly betrayal from jewish slavedrivers.

Magda Harker - 29 April 2016

there are a lot of stories circulating on social media about circumcision...and we have them men who got circumcised but buried now..you need to convince the people ...

CHANGES - 30 April 2016

which is marketed; the use of condoms or nyoro yakachecheudzwa. coz vapfana vanzwa ne sick. pakaipa apa.

confused - 30 April 2016

So, you can get circumcised and use condoms and your chance of HIV is practically 0%, You can not get circumcised and use a condom and your chance of HIV is practically 0%, Now, why get circumcised again?

IGU - 30 April 2016

Yet in Zimbabwe, more of the cut men have HIV than the whole men. This was true both before and after the cutting campaign began. Zimbabwe is one of 10 countries (out of 18 for which USAID has figures) where this is true. And a study in Uganda found cutting men INcreases the risk to women, who are already at much greater risk. Men who want to keep all of their parts should not be bullied into getting cut.

Hugh7 - 5 May 2016

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