80% target set for male circumcision

The American government with its cooperating partners in the eastern and southern African regions hopes to reach about 80 % of males aged 15 to 49 with medical male circumcision in the next five years.

QFM NEWS reports that US ambassador to Zambia Mark Storella says this could prevent up to 3.4 million new infections in the region.

Ambassador Storella says his government has been supporting Zambia in implementing the male circumcision programmes because they have proved to be effective in the prevention of HIV infections.

The diplomat notes that the rate of men accessing the male circumcision has continued to be low saying there is need for the male circumcision awareness programmes to be scaled up.

Ambassador Storella was speaking at a meeting on medical male circumcision held for traditional leaders in Lusaka this morning. / QFM


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6 responses to “80% target set for male circumcision”

  1. Msonda S says:

    There is so much contradiction when it comes to MC. There is so much promiscuity among our folk after MC cos somehow they think that it prevents them from getting the virus alas that is far from the truth makes me wonder if someone out there knows the mentality of a certain type of people. The population of the world is growing and there has to be an indirect ‘culling’ and unfortunately a lack of education is sending many of our children into early graves.

  2. Many professionals have criticized the studies claiming that circumcision reduces HIV transmission. They have various flaws. The absolute rate of HIV transmission reduction is only 1.3%, not the claimed 60%. Authorities that cite the studies have other agendas including political and financial. Research shows that circumcision causes physical, sexual, and psychological harm. This harm is ignored by circumcision advocates. Other methods to prevent HIV transmission (e.g., condoms and sterilizing medical instruments) are much more effective, much cheaper, and much less invasive. Please see HIV page at Circumcision Resource Center for more information.

  3. Dan Strandjord says:

    U.S. ambassador to Zambia, Mark Storella, served at the embassy in Thailand. He should know that Thailand was successful in dealing with the AIDS crisis with education and condom campaigns. Why does the U.S. think that African men need to be circumcised? This is racism at its worst and I am ashamed at the U.S. government and Mark Storella for spreading this nonsense in Africa. Black men in the U.S. are just as likely to be HIV+ whether they are circumcised or not. Ask Ambassador Storella why he was not promoting circumcision in Thailand.

  4. Hugh7 says:

    “The diplomat notes that the rate of men accessing the male circumcision has continued to be low saying there is need for the male circumcision awareness programmes to be scaled up.”

    In other words, the people are not fooled. They know the foreskin is the best part and cutting it off would impair their love-lives. They know, we may hope, that condoms are far more effective than cutting parts off genitals. Condoms protect both partners. Condoms also reliably protect against STDs, as circumcision does not. “Awareness programmes” is just a euphemism for indoctrination.

    “this could prevent up to 3.4 million new infections in the region.” The number is ex recto. All we know is that less than two years after circumcising a total of 5,400 men, 73 fewer circumcised men had HIV than the non-circumcised control group, while 64 circumcised men DID have HIV. There are many reasons other than a direct effect of circumcising that this could be the case.

  5. PJ says:

    The American government should stop wasting U.S. taxpayer dollars on male circumcision in Africa.

    “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.)

    The one randomized controlled trial into male-to-female transmission showed a 61% higher rate among females in the group where the men had been circumcised.

    “Langerin is a natural barrier to HIV-1 transmission by Langerhans cells” (Nature
    Medicine- 4 March 2007). This study states, “Langerhans cells (LCs) specifically express Langerin . . . LCs reside in the epidermis of the skin and in most mucosal epithelia, such as the ectocervix, vagina and foreskin . . . ” Removal of the foreskin (male circumcision) removes the langerhans cells that express langerin, the natural barrier to HIV-1 transmission.

    Danish Study- Male circumcision leads to a bad sex life
    November 14, 2011 – Circumcised men have more difficulties reaching orgasm, and their female partners experience more vaginal pains and an inferior sex life, a new study shows.

    One man in Africa appears to have more common sense than many of those promoting circumcision. “Jackson Dlamini, 25, a strapping man taking a break from weight training at a local gym, 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?””

  6. Mark Lyndon says:

    (I tried posting this with supporting links, but it doesn’t seem to have gone through, so here it is again without the links. Sorry if it appears twice.)

    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.”

    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”.

    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:

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

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