Circumcision reduces HIV/Aids infection

Velisha Thompson of the City of Johannesburg.

The Department of Health provides a service for male medical circumcision to the community.

This service is provided by Alexandra Community Health Centre and the Edenvale Hospital.

The imitative was necessitated by studies conducted in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi where success claims are being made that male circumcision reduced the rate of new infections by 60 per cent.

The foreskin of the penis has been found to be suitable for the growth of bacteria and viruses because of its nature of being warm and moist, which makes it susceptible to various infections.

South Africa has been doing male circumcisions in hospitals for a long time but at a lower rate. Traditional circumcision was done across the country, especially in rural communities but with dire consequences.

Lives were lost due to various factors, which resulted in communities viewing circumcision as a life-threatening procedure. Circumcisions are meant to be done in an environment that is clean and sterile such as hospitals and not at home.

The Department of Health would like to increase male medical circumcisions after being proven to be effective and reducing the HIV infection rate.

All government hospitals and community health centres will be offering male medical circumcision to communities in a safe and conducive environment. There will be dedicated teams of doctors, nurses and counsellors at their service.

The target group is men between the ages of 15 and 49, where 15 to 25-year-olds are the priority group. It is, therefore, being encouraged by the department that males should be circumcised to reduce the HIV infection rate.

It must be stressed that although male medical circumcision reduces the rate of new infections, it does mean that a person can still not be infected with unprotected sex.

A person still needs to practice safe sex. The Department of Health still puts great emphasis on ABCs – Abstinence, Be faithful and Condomise.

Visit your nearest hospital or community health centre for more information.

  AUTHOR
Sipho Siso

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