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Zimbabwe’s MPs to be circumcised in bid to fight HIV

23/06/2012
English: Estimated HIV prevalence among young ...

English: Estimated HIV prevalence among young adults (15-49) by country. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

At least 10 Zimbabwean MP have been circumcised as part of a campaign to reduce HIV and Aids cases.

A small makeshift clinic for carrying out the procedures was erected in Parliament House in the capital Harare.

Blessing Chebundo, chairman of Zimbabwe Parliamentarians Against Aids, said his main objective was to inspire other citizens to follow suit.

Research by the UN has suggested male circumcision can reduce the spread of HIV and Aids.

A report by UNAids and the World Health Organisation (WHO) said the risk of HIV infection among men could be reduced by 60%.

More than a million people in Zimbabwe are believed to be HIV-positive, with about 500,000 receiving anti-retroviral treatment.

Comment:
Some experts also say there is a danger in sending out a message that circumcision can protect against HIV because it could lead to an increase in unprotected sex.
Philippa Roxby – Health reporter, BBC News
»Zimbabwe’s MPs to be circumcised in bid to fight HIV

Ancient Egyptian carved scene of circumcision ...

Ancient Egyptian carved scene of circumcision (reproduction), from the Tomb of Ank-Mahor at Saqqara, Sixth Dynasty, Teti, c. 2340 BC. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Totally against circumcision
MBABANE – While prominent organisations and private doctors are advocating that every male should get circumcised, there is a website dedicated to dismissing these efforts as not being as beneficial as they are made out to be.

Male circumcision is the surgical removal of some or the entire foreskin from the male reproductive organ.

A lot of adverts and campaigns countrywide are being run calling for men to get circumcised.

Experts have stated that circumcision has become one of the ways of reducing the risk of being infected with sexually transmitted infections (STIs), including HIV during intercourse.

According to the Circumcision Information and Resource Pages (CIRP) most parents are not aware of the side effects of circumcision when taking their children for the ‘cut-off’.

A reader who identified himself as David J Llewellyn alerted the Times SUNDAY to the website, http://www.cirp.org/anat.

He was reacting to a report in our last edition, which revealed that a man of Nhlangano had been circumcised without his permission.

He had gone to a hospital in South Africa for treatment after being in a car accident but the doctor decided to circumcise him, charging government E6 000 for the procedure.

The man had been taken to hospital under the Phalala Specialist Medical Car Fund.

“When are Africans going to stand up to these circumcising doctors and demand their right to be left alone? He should sue the pants off of the arrogant doctor who circumcised him. He is right that he is now sexually diminished. See http://www.cirp.org,” wrote Llewellyn.

The website dedicates several pages to ‘revealing’ information it suggests is always omitted by doctors who conduct circumcision.

It says, for instance, that the foreskin has 12 useful functions that a circumcised male no longer benefits from.

It states that the foreskin is not ‘useless or redundant skin’ as one would imagine.

“Circumcision of an infant male significantly reduces erogenous pleasure potential in his genitals when he becomes sexually active and continues to be reduced as he ages until, in many cases, he is left with relatively little sensation,” reads information on the website.

In Swaziland, circumcision is done free of charge and this has been the case since the introduction of the Soka Uncobe Campaign which ended in March 2012.

The Soka Uncobe campaign was launched on July 15, 2011 and it was funded by the US government.

Government statistics indicate that by April 2012, about 40 300 Swazi males had been circumcised.

Comment:
“Jackson Dlamini, 25, … told IRIN he was considering circumcision as a way to protect himself from HIV/AIDS. When told that counsellors at Mbabane Government Hospital would advise him to carry on using condoms even after the operation, Dlamini said, “It is painful to get circumcised. If I have to wear a condom anyway, what is the point?”” “What does the frequently cited “60% relative reduction” in HIV infections actually mean? Across all three female-to-male trials, of the 5,411 men subjected to male circumcision, 64 (1.18%) became HIV-positive. Among the 5,497 controls, 137 (2.49%) became HIV-positive”, so the absolute decrease in HIV infection was only 1.31%, which is not statistically significant.” (Boyle GJ, Hill G. Sub-Saharan African randomised clinical trials into male circumcision and HIV transmission: Methodological, ethical and legal concerns. J Law Med 2011; 19:316-34.) See: http://www.salem-news.com/fms/pdf/2011-12_JLM-Boyle-Hill.pdf Denied, withheld, and uncollected evidence and unethical research cloud what really happened during three key trials of circumcision to protect men. http://dontgetstuck.wordpress.com/2012/02/11/denied-withheld-and-uncollected-evidence-and-unethical-research-cloud-what-really-happened-during-three-key-trials-of-circumcision-to-protect-men/#comment-609
»Times of Swaziland

English: World map of travel & residence restr...

English: World map of travel & residence restrictions against people with HIV/AIDS: http://www.aidsmap.co. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Namibia: ‘Nurses Should Also Circumcise Men’
A specialist at the Windhoek Central Hospital is of the opinion that the Nursing Council should allow nurses to practise male circumcision.

Comment:
From a USAID report: “There appears no clear pattern of association between male circumcision and HIV prevalence—in 8 of 18 countries with data, HIV prevalence is lower among circumcised men, while in the remaining 10 countries it is higher.http://www.measuredhs.com/pubs/pdf/CR22/CR22.pdf

The South African National Communication Survey on HIV/AIDS, 2009 found that 15% of adults across age groups “believe that circumcised men do not need to use condoms“. http://www.info.gov.za/issues/hiv/survey_2009.htm

From the committee of the South African Medical Association Human Rights, Law & Ethics Committee : “the Committee expressed serious concern that not enough scientifically-based evidence was available to confirm that circumcisions prevented HIV contraction and that the public at large was influenced by incorrect and misrepresented information. The Committee reiterated its view that it did not support circumcision to prevent HIV transmission.”

The one randomized controlled trial into male-to-female transmission showed a 54% higher rate in the group where the men had been circumcised btw: http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(09)60998-3/a bstract

ABC (Abstinence, Being faithful, and especially Condoms) is the way forward. Promoting genital surgery seems likely to cost African lives rather than save them.
»allAfrica

A South Dakota prison inmate, who recently found out about his missing foreskin, has filed a federal lawsuit against the hospital where he was born, claiming that doctors who had performed his circumcision had robbed him of his sexual prowess.
»Inmate Sues Hospital for Circumcision Procedure That “Robbed” Him of His Sexual Prowess

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