Tuesday, July 17, 2012

(SUNDAY MAIL ZW) Were we fooled

COMMENT - Yes, there is no proof that circumcision prevents HIV infection, and now evidence from the Zimbabwean Demographic and Health Survey supports evidence of marginally higher HIV infection rates among circumcised men. Quote: " According to the latest Zimbabwe Health Demographic Survey 2010-2011, the HIV prevalence rate among circumcised males between the ages of 15 and 49 in Zimbabwe is higher than that of uncircumcised males. The prevalence rate among the circumcised is 14 percent while that of the uncircumcised is 12 percent. " Read more here. UPDATE (July 19 2012): Now they want to add child abuse to medical malpractice. It is already known that circumcision doesn't prevent HIV infection, now the want to circumcise all newborns. (NEWZIMBAWBE) Newly-born babies to be circumcised, by Phyllis Mbanje.

Were we fooled?
Friday, 13 July 2012 19:35
Shamiso Yikoniko and Lincoln Towindo

Dozens of billboards emblazoned with the message “Circumcision — one of the top defenders against HIV and Aids” are now a common sight on major roads in Harare. Such loud advertisements, alongside an aggressive campaign in newspapers and on air, form part of a multi-million-dollar campaign aimed at encouraging sexually active men to get circumcised as a way of reducing the risk of contracting HIV.

Recently, Members of the House of Assembly and leading celebrities were roped into the campaign to try and encourage more men within the 15 and 49 age group to get circumcised.

Male circumcision is a surgical procedure for the complete removal of the foreskin of the male reproductive organ.

According to medical experts, the benefits of male circumcision include the reduction, by 60 percent, of the possibility of contracting HIV, the reduced chance of having sexually transmitted diseases, penile and cervical cancer and urinary tract infections in infants.

For some with a more discerning eye, the recent aggressive male circumcision campaign is an attempt to create a semblance of credibility for a programme which was initially suffering from mass apathy amid concerns over its safety and assumed effectiveness in fighting HIV and Aids.

Millions of dollars worth of donor funds were pumped into organisations such as Population Services International Zimbabwe (PSI), which is spearheading the campaign alongside the Government, to try and convince men to undergo circumcision.

Zimbabweans, keen to “reduce” their chances of contracting HIV by 60 percent, have embraced the idea with about 70 000 young men going under the blade in just under three years at a rate of over 10 circumcisions an hour, up from the initial rate of three an hour.

However, amid the swelling enthusiasm, Zimbabweans recently woke up to shocking revelations that the much-hyped “miracle solution” to the HIV and Aids pandemic might turn out, after all, to be pie in the sky.

According to the latest Zimbabwe Health Demographic Survey 2010-2011, the HIV prevalence rate among circumcised males between the ages of 15 and 49 in Zimbabwe is higher than that of uncircumcised males.

The prevalence rate among the circumcised is 14 percent while that of the uncircumcised is 12 percent.

In 2007, the World Health Organisation recommended male circumcision as an HIV preventive measure based on three sub-Saharan African randomised clinical trials into female-to-male sexual transmission.

In light of the latest research outcomes pointing to higher HIV and Aids prevalence among circumcised young men compared to their uncircumcised peers, many

Zimbabweans are understandably in shock after they were made to believe that it was supposed to work the other way round.

Observers have been quick to express apprehension over how promotion of circumcision has taken apparent precedence over other tried and tested methods such as abstinence and condom use, which have apparently taken a back seat.

They noted that the “Top Defender” adverts along with the others being flighted by PSI and its partners are promoting sexual bravado while subtly giving the impression of an “invisible condom” among those who would have been circumcised.
To many people, the advertisement and circumcision campaigns lack the finer details of what the procedure entails.

Mrs Patience Kunaka, inter-personal communication manager at PSI, however, insists that male circumcision reduces the risk of contracting HIV.

“The programme is effective. There is no need to panic. The whole issue is being blown out of proportion,” she said.

On the advertisement messages, Mrs Kunaka said the Government, through the Ministry of Health and Child Welfare, had the final say on the campaign materials.

“This is a programme that we are working on in partnership with the Government and we work hand in glove in terms of coming up with the proper message,” she said.

“However, at the end of the day they get to decide what is eventually communicated to the public.”

While the debate on the effectiveness of male circumcision rages on, Zimbabwe has over the past two decades managed to halve its HIV prevalence rate largely due to the promotion of abstinence and condom use. The question now on many people’s minds is whether there is a link between the advent of mass circumcision and the increase in HIV prevalence among circumcised youths.

However, what is clear to many is that circumcised youths have turned to sexually risky behaviour in the false belief that circumcision gives them an “invisible condom”.

Others are of the view that Africa might have been sold a ruse by the WHO in cahoots with Western researchers.

While it is becoming clear that enough may not have been done by individual African countries to ascertain the authenticity of the WHO-led research, many are now waking up to the sad reality that circumcision may not be the miracle solution that they had hoped it would be.

But could the circumcision campaign, which has been embraced so affectionately by African nations such as Uganda, Kenya, Zimbabwe and Namibia, be a distraction from the greater and more apparent challenge of eradicating the scourge?

Officially opening the 13th International Aids Conference held in Durban in 2000, former South African president Mr Thabo Mbeki said poverty was the underlying cause of reduced life expectancy, handicap, disability and starvation.

“Extreme poverty is the world’s biggest killer and the greatest cause of ill health and suffering across the globe,” he said.


While millions are dying of the disease every day, powerful lobby groups and global health campaigners have taken advantage of the desperation among developing countries eager to stave off the crippling effects of HIV and Aids.

Infinite campaigns, “new” medicinal discoveries and health innovations originating from powerful Western funders are being forced down the throats of African governments through funding-thirsty local NGO partners without much discernible benefits for most countries.

There is no doubt that the fight against HIV and Aids has turned into a multi-billion-dollar business and Zimbabweans should brace themselves for more “scientific” innovations that can help prevent the disease.

“In the fight against Aids, profiteering has trumped prevention. Aids is no longer simply a disease; it has become a multi-billion-dollar industry,” stated Sam Ruteikara, a known campaigner against HIV and Aids and, co-chair of Uganda’s National Aids-Prevention Committee.

Last year prominent HIV and Aids researchers Gregory J. Boyle and George Hill questioned, in a scathing research paper, the logic behind circumcision.

“Since male circumcision diverts resources from known preventive measures and increases risk-taking behaviours, any long-term benefit in reducing HIV transmission remains uncertain,” they concluded.

Boyle and Hill challenged the methodological, ethical and legal concerns of randomised clinical trials.

“Why were the trials carried out in countries where more intact men were HIV positive than in those where more circumcised men were HIV positive? Why were men sampled from specific ethnic groups? Why were so many participants lost to follow-up?” questioned Boyle and Hill.

These and several other questions remained unanswered prior to the recommendation of male circumcision. However, the programme was still foisted on poorer nations.

Powerful organisations such as UNAIDS, the WHO, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation have been at the forefront of financing the circumcision crusade despite its apparent flaws.

According to researchers, the origination of male circumcision is not known with certainty. One school of thought proposes that it began as a religious sacrifice, as a rite of passage marking a boy’s entrance into adulthood, as a means of enhancing sexual pleasure or as an aid to hygiene where regular bathing was impractical.

Some believe that male circumcision began as a way of “purifying” individuals and society by reducing sexuality and sexual pleasure.

However, today circumcision is being practised in many countries across the globe for different reasons.

It was only recently that it was encouraged as a way of reducing the risk of contracting HIV following findings that the disease was not common in Moslem societies where infants are circumcised only a few days after birth.

But observers have called for more comprehensive Afro-centric research to be done before circumcision is adopted as the “top defender” against the disease.

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8 Comments:

At 4:52 PM , Blogger MrK said...

Compounding medical malpractice ("first do no harm" - they know there is no protection from HIV infection ), they want to compound medical malpractice with child abuse.

(NEWZIMBABWE) Newly-born babies to be circumcised
19/07/2012 00:00:00
by Phyllis Mbanje

ZIMBABWE is planning to expand its circumcision campaign to include newly-born babies as part of the country’s fight against the spread of HIV and AIDS, a senior health ministry official has confirmed.

The ministry’s AIDS and TB unit co-ordinator, Getrude Ncube, said a pilot project targeting babies between one and 28 days old would be launched before year end with the full programme likely to be rolled out in 2014.

"The project will start in Harare and Bulawayo," Ncube said adding that, gradually, all maternity sites across the country would be circumcising newly born babies by 2014.

"Although circumcising neonates will not have an immediate an impact, results will show in 20 years’ time. Our sole aim is to try and reduce new HIV infections."

The programme was launched in 2009 with officials targeting to have 80 per cent of the male population circumcised by 2015.

Currently the programme is only targeting the 15-49 age group and around 700,000 men have already undergone the procedure against a target of 1.2 million by 2015.

Dozens of legislators were also recently circumcised as part of efforts to publicise the procedure which has become a key part of the country’s fight against HIV/AIDS

Circumcised men are said to be 60 per cent less likely to get infected with HIV but the latest Zimbabwe Demographic Survey indicated that the prevalence rate among circumcised men was higher than that of those who were uncircumcised.

Officials have also warned that the procedure should not be seen as a “licence” for irresponsible sexual behaviour.

“Circumcision is not a magic bullet but part of a prevention package,” the head of the head of the health ministry’s HIV and TB unit, Dr Owen Mugurungi said last month

“There is a lot of misconception out there and we are appealing to the media to help us communicate that circumcision is not a magic bullet.

“The media has to educate the community not to move around looking for circumcised men with the intention of not using protection when they have sex.

“Women are now looking for men who are circumcised and they do not want to use condoms. We do not want to create false hope.”

Zimbabwe is one of the countries worst affected by HIV/AIDS with around a million people believed to be infected with the disease which, if left untreated, can lead to the break-down of a patient's immune system.

The one million figure represents around 14 per cent of Zimbabwe's population but is a vast improvement on higher prevalence levels of around 23 per cent seen back in 2003.

 
At 1:49 PM , Blogger MrK said...

This is amazing. It turns out that the original researchers were lifelong promoters of newborn circumcision. Let me repeat that. The researchers who did the clinical trials in Kenya and Uganda, before they even conceived the surveys, wanted to see universal circumcision, including of newborn babies. So as soon as the results during the survey leaned their way, they stopped the trials. From Canada's National Review of Medicine, Jan. 20 2007:

Circumcision/HIV trials disputed
WHO studies looked only at rarer female-to-male transmission
By Peter Woodford

Circumcision "is, in fact, the real-world equivalent of an AIDS vaccine," trumpeted a January 14 New York Times editorial. The bold proclamation came in reaction to two recent clinical trials in Africa investigating circumcision's protective effects against HIV. The trials were halted early due to the procedure's apparent success in protecting men against contracting HIV from women. The Times opinion piece was typical of the ebullient international news media's reaction, but not everyone is convinced that ridding the world of prepuces will do much to diminish the HIV/AIDS epidemic.

The Seattle-based group Doctors Opposing Circumcision (DOC) released a statement condemning the early termination of the trials, which the investigators say was done on ethical grounds: "If the studies had continued for their scheduled time, it is probable that there would have been little difference between the circumcised group and the non-circumcised group."

WOMAN-TO-MAN
Dr Stephen Moses, of University of Manitoba, was the principal investigator for the CIHR-funded Kenyan trial (the other study was in Uganda). He's quick to note that this particular trial did not look at man-to-woman transmission. "Our study only looked at the protection afforded to HIV uninfected men who are exposed to HIV through sex with HIV infected women," he said. "Circumcision reduced their risk of acquiring HIV by 53%."

The DOC statement also expressed concern that, despite the fact that rates of heterosexual woman-to-man transmission of HIV are low in developed countries, this trial might be used as an argument for routine neonatal circumcision in the US and Canada. Dr Moses, who favours routine neonatal circumcision, agrees.

"I think that it would be in order for the Canadian Paediatric Society (CPS) to revisit the issue of routine male circumcision, not just in the light of the findings of reduced risk for HIV infection, but in relation to other health benefits which have come to light in recent years," he told NRM.

CPS STANDS FIRM

Dr Robin Walker, Vice-President Medicine at the IWK in Halifax and a former president of the CPS, says that the CPS's official opposition to non-religious routine infant circumcision, based on years of study, isn't likely to change quickly.

"In this case there is growing evidence of a partial protective effect of circumcision on rates of transmission of HIV," he says. "But when our expert committee reviews the evidence it will not only have to determine if there is enough science of high enough quality to use for a recommendation, but also whether circumcising every male is justified by the degree of protection conferred."

"HIV is already preventable by other means that do not involve surgery, let alone surgery on every male," he stresses.

And indeed, besides condoms and safer sex, simply washing the penis after sex might help reduce the risk of female-to-male HIV transmission among uncircumcised men.

The CDC's fact sheet on circumcision trials noted the following: "The micro-environment in the preputial sac between the unretracted foreskin and the glans penis may be conducive to viral survival." It follows that improving access to clean water in endemic AIDS areas would be a good start.

 
At 5:28 PM , Blogger MrK said...

From the Exposing Religion blog at Tumblr:

The 3 men in charge of the African HIV circumcision studies:

Robert C. Bailey is Professor of Epidemiology at the School of Public Health, University of Illinois at Chicago. He is not a medical doctor or even a medical epidemiologist, but rather holds degrees in Anthropology and behavioral epidemiology. Bailey is the principal investigator of the randomized controlled trial of male circumcision to reduce HIV incidence in Kisumu, Kenya, and he has served as a consultant to WHO, UNAIDS, UNICEF, the World Bank, USAID, the CDC, and other national and international governmental and non-governmental agencies. In Bailey’s trial, the circumcised group had specific instructions to abstain from sex and use condoms that the intact control group did not. Bailey has admitted that “repeated study visits and intensive behavioral counseling” of the circumcised men were needed to reduce risk behaviors.

Ronald Gray is a North American circumcision proponent and biased researcher looking for justifications to roll-out mass circumcision programs around the world. He headed one of the three RCTs being used by the WHO to endorse circumcision as HIV prevention. At their clinic, a music video promoting circumcision plays continuously. Gray published studies with Brian J. Morris.

Dr. Stephen Moses

 
At 5:47 PM , Blogger MrK said...

From Canada's National Review of Medicine, Jan. 30 2007:

Circumcision/HIV trials disputed

WHO studies looked only at rarer female-to-male transmission
By Peter Woodford

Circumcision "is, in fact, the real-world equivalent of an AIDS vaccine," trumpeted a January 14 New York Times editorial. The bold proclamation came in reaction to two recent clinical trials in Africa investigating circumcision's protective effects against HIV. The trials were halted early due to the procedure's apparent success in protecting men against contracting HIV from women. The Times opinion piece was typical of the ebullient international news media's reaction, but not everyone is convinced that ridding the world of prepuces will do much to diminish the HIV/AIDS epidemic.

The Seattle-based group Doctors Opposing Circumcision (DOC) released a statement condemning the early termination of the trials, which the investigators say was done on ethical grounds: "If the studies had continued for their scheduled time, it is probable that there would have been little difference between the circumcised group and the non-circumcised group."

WOMAN-TO-MAN
Dr Stephen Moses, of University of Manitoba, was the principal investigator for the CIHR-funded Kenyan trial (the other study was in Uganda). He's quick to note that this particular trial did not look at man-to-woman transmission. "Our study only looked at the protection afforded to HIV uninfected men who are exposed to HIV through sex with HIV infected women," he said. "Circumcision reduced their risk of acquiring HIV by 53%."

The DOC statement also expressed concern that, despite the fact that rates of heterosexual woman-to-man transmission of HIV are low in developed countries, this trial might be used as an argument for routine neonatal circumcision in the US and Canada. Dr Moses, who favours routine neonatal circumcision, agrees.

"I think that it would be in order for the Canadian Paediatric Society (CPS) to revisit the issue of routine male circumcision, not just in the light of the findings of reduced risk for HIV infection, but in relation to other health benefits which have come to light in recent years," he told NRM.

CPS STANDS FIRM

Dr Robin Walker, Vice-President Medicine at the IWK in Halifax and a former president of the CPS, says that the CPS's official opposition to non-religious routine infant circumcision, based on years of study, isn't likely to change quickly.

"In this case there is growing evidence of a partial protective effect of circumcision on rates of transmission of HIV," he says. "But when our expert committee reviews the evidence it will not only have to determine if there is enough science of high enough quality to use for a recommendation, but also whether circumcising every male is justified by the degree of protection conferred."

"HIV is already preventable by other means that do not involve surgery, let alone surgery on every male," he stresses.

And indeed, besides condoms and safer sex, simply washing the penis after sex might help reduce the risk of female-to-male HIV transmission among uncircumcised men.

The CDC's fact sheet on circumcision trials noted the following: "The micro-environment in the preputial sac between the unretracted foreskin and the glans penis may be conducive to viral survival." It follows that improving access to clean water in endemic AIDS areas would be a good start.

 
At 5:57 PM , Blogger MrK said...

From Doctors Opposing Circumcision:

The Use of Male Circumcision to Prevent HIV Infection
A statement by Doctors Opposing Circumcision

Introduction. There have been a number of exaggerated claims made for the alleged efficacy of male circumcision in preventing female-to-male infection with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) This statement examines those claims and puts them in proper perspective.

History. The theory that male circumcision may be protective against HIV infection was invented and developed in North America. According to Professor Valiere Alcena, MD, he originated the theory that removing the foreskin can prevent HIV infection in an article1 in August 1986.2 The late Aaron J. Fink, MD, a noted North American advocate of male circumcision, then promoted Alcena's theory in letters to medical journals.3-5 North American Gerald N. Weiss, MD, who operates a website to promote circumcision, and others contributed to the development of the theory through a paper, which was published in Israel (1993), identifying the prepuce as a possible entry point for HIV.6 North American circumcision enthusiasts have further promoted male circumcision with opinion pieces in medical journals.7,8 Stephen Moses, Daniel T. Halperin, and Robert C. Bailey are other well known North American promoters of male circumcision.8,9

Numerous observational studies were carried out in Africa, but the evidence-based Cochrane Review (2003) found insufficient evidence to advocate a circumcision intervention to prevent HIV infection.10

Randomized controlled trials. After the failure of observational studies to show a clear protective effect, circumcision advocates obtained funding from the United States National Institutes of Health to conduct randomized controlled trials (RCTs) in Africa. Three RCTs to study the value of male circumcision in reducing HIV infection have been conducted in Africa since the publication of the Cochrane Review. The studies were intended to find out if circumcision is an effective intervention to prevent female-to-male HIV infection. A RCT under the supervision of Bertran Auvert, French circumcision proponent, was carried out in Orange Farm, South Africa;11 a RCT was carried out in Kenya under the supervision of North American circumcision proponent Robert C. Bailey and Stephen Moses;12 and a RCT was carried out in Uganda under the supervision of North American circumcision proponent Ronald H. Gray.13 Dr. Auvert has been a circumcision proponent since at least 2003.14 Professor Moses has been an advocate of circumcision at least since 1994.9 Professor Bailey has been a circumcision advocate since at least 1998.15

All three studies found that non-circumcised males contract HIV infection more quickly than circumcised males.11-13 This may be because the circumcised males required a period of abstinence after their circumcision. All three studies were terminated early, before the incidence of infection in circumcised males caught up with the incidence of infection in the non-circumcised males. If the studies had continued for their scheduled time, it is probable that there would have been little difference between the circumcised group and the non-circumcised group. Mills & Siegfried point out that early termination of such studies cause the benefits to be exaggerated.16 Dowsett & Couch (2007), even after publication of the RCTs, found insufficient evidence exists to support a program of circumcision to prevent HIV infection.17

 
At 5:58 PM , Blogger MrK said...

(Continued...)

Cultural bias. When studying circumcision, cultural bias must be considered:

Circumcision practices are largely culturally determined and as a result there are strong beliefs and opinions surrounding its practice. It is important to acknowledge that researchers' personal biases and the dominant circumcision practices of their respective countries may influence their interpretation of findings.10

More than 50 percent of infant boys in North America still are subjected to non-therapeutic circumcision. There is a well known cultural bias in favor of circumcision in North America,18-21 which may influence doctors at the National Institutes of Health as well as those directing the studies. Doctors conducting these studies may not possess the necessary attributes of neutrality and objectivity. Ideally, researchers from circumcising cultures, circumcised themselves, would recuse themselves from considering the data.

Risks, complications, and drawbacks. The reported complication rate of 1.7 percent seems unreasonably low. Williams & Kapila estimated the incidence of complications at 2-10 percent;22 In the survey by Kim & Pang, 48 percent reported decreased masturbatory pleasure, 63 percent reported increased masturbatory difficulty, and 20 percent reported a worsened sex life after circumcision.23

Effectiveness. Circumcision does not prevent HIV infection. The Auvert study in South Africa reported 20 infections in circumcised males.11 A study in Kenya reported 22 infections in circumcised males. Brewer & found higher rates of HIV infection in circumcised virgins and adolescents.24 The United States has the highest rate of HIV infection and the highest rate of male circumcision in the industrialized world. Male circumcision, therefore, cannot reasonably be thought to prevent HIV infection.

 
At 4:14 AM , Blogger MrK said...

A transcript of a caller to a program, who claims to have individual knowledge of how the trials were not only stopped before they had run their course, but were stacked on purpose because the researchers found that not being circumcised makes it less likely that you catch HIV (or just test positive on these tests). My guess it is just a random who tests positive in both groups, but the point is that the researchers found the opposite of what they wanted to find and cooked the books.

(YOUTUBE) UN HIV Circumcision Study A Fraud - The Atheist Experience #603

Russ in San Antonio: I've got a little story for you that you guys are going to love. I called my best friend, because it's his story, but he totally refused and he said no way. And we grew up together, I actually introduced him to his wife. So he wouldn't lie to me about something big. I have no reason to doubt him, is what I am saying.

Ehmm, he's a doctor, ok, he's a very well known doctor, and a few years ago I go upset because he actually went to Africa for a couple of months to take part in a medical study.

And I didn't what it was at the time, until I saw the pictures when he came back. And he told me they specifically went to East Africa to determine that circumcision can reduce HIV transmission. Not that they went to see, he said they went to determine that. In other words, he swears to this day that it is a completely dishonest study.

He said they got 1/3 way through the study, and their results were not favorable in their eyes. In other words, they determined that anyone who has smegma is less likely to contract HIV. That would be any man with foreskin and any woman with a labia. So apparently they stopped everything 1/3 of the way through the study, and switched the whole process. And what they did was basically take about 1000 uncircumcised Kenyans who were about 70% HIV positive, 1000 circumcised Kenyans who were 20% HIV positive and put them in a room.

And when the European fact checkers came along, they said "Wow, 70% of the uncircumcised Kenyans are HIV positive." OK so they took this to the UN, they took this to the World Health Organisation, which basically bought it up. They said basically the next day, the UN now advocates circumcising Africans.

But the thing is, they never completed their study. They even admit that in their writings. They also said that it would be unethical for anyone to try to disprove them. It would be unethical. In other words, if you went to try to disprove them in East Africa and did a similar study, you would be scorned in the medical community.

Well he told me there are 4 ways in which you can know that this is a lie.

Number one, you look at the history. Every twenty years physicians come up with a new excuse for circumcision. And within a decade it is always disproven. HIV is the latest one. I would recommend that you guys don't buy into this right away.

Number two, they don't want anyone else to do a similar study. That's proof that they're lying.

Number three, most other legitimate medical organisations are contesting and challenging the WHO now. Like the American Academy of Pediatrics, which basically won't put it in their yearly literature, saying it's bs, and they don't want it to be used as an excuse to circumcise American infants.

And number four, the WHO said it so you have to question it.

And you know I didn't believe this at first, but when I googled hiv circumcision fraud hiv circumcision debunked there's apparently a lot of doctors, there's a lot of doctors in this study, a lot of them totally disagree with the findings.

 
At 6:28 AM , Anonymous MrK said...

(NEWZIMBABWE) 90,000 men circumcised this year
10/12/2013 00:00:00
by Agencies

COMMENT - The AID$ Fraud continues. There is absolutely no evidence, whatsoever, that circumcision prevents HIV infection. See here and here. - MrK

CLOSE to 90,000 men have been circumcised so far this year, an official in the ministry of health revealed this week.

The number is still short of the 2013 target of 115,000 but a remarkable increase from 40,755 who underwent the procedure last year, a health official said.

The rise has been attributed to the increase in facilities offering the operation with male circumcision now performed at provincial, district and mission hospitals and stand-alone centres, said AIDS and Tuberculosis Unit director at the Ministry of Health Dr Owen Mugurungi.
At least 87,858 males were circumcised across the country from January to October this year.

"This year’s output marks a significant increase as compared with 2012, when a total of 40,755 males were circumcised," Mugurungi said.

Bulawayo had the highest number of males circumcised with 18 per cent compared with 5.0 per cent in Midlands, Mashonaland Central, and Mashonaland West provinces.

The increase in Bulawayo was a result of various initiatives employed in raising awareness of the advantages of voluntary medical male circumcision (VMMC).

Mgurungi said the government would be increasing the number of teams trained to provide VMMC in provinces with low percentages of circumcised males.

The government introduced VMMC as a way of reducing HIV and other sexually-transmitted diseases after evidence had demonstrated that circumcision reduced chances of men contracting HIV by 60 per cent.
The government is targeting to circumcise 217,800 people next year and 1.3 million by 2017.

 

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