Aids Focus

Free circumcisions to fight HIV

2012-04-17 16:21

Special Report

Johannesburg - Thousands of free circumcisions will be performed by non-profit HIV and Aids organisation Right to Care in the next year, the body said on Tuesday.

The organisation would perform the 125 000 male circumcisions over the next 18 months to help the health department curb the spread of HIV.

"Men [who circumcise] can protect themselves and their partners to reduce the risk of HIV infection and cervical cancer," Right to Care said in a statement.

The initiative would be supported by the United States Agency for International Development (USAid) and will receive funding from the US President's Emergency Plan for Aids Relief.

"The new Right to Care agreement builds on USAID investments in 15 high-quality, high-volume MMC sites servicing the Free State, Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, and Mpumalanga.

"Right to Care will also establish a new site in KwaZulu-Natal and expand satellite sites in informal settlements and urban areas in Gauteng."

The organisation would also work with three non-governmental organisations: Anova Health, the Centre for HIV/Aids Prevention Studies, and Maternal, Adolescent and Child Health.

Right to Care chief executive Ian Sanne said the circumcisions would reduce the risk of other sexually transmitted diseases such as human papillomavirus.

"Human papillomavirus can lead to penile cancer in males and, when transmitted to women, contributes to a high incidence of cervical cancer," he said.

"[But] the continued use of male and female condoms is vitally important, even when the man is circumcised."

The initiative would also conduct HIV testing and counselling, screen for sexually transmitted infections, provide male and female condoms and link HIV-positive patients to care and treatment.

Right to Care is a non-profit organisation involved in the provision of care and treatment to HIV-positive individuals who cannot afford medical care.

Former cricketer and Cricket SA chief Ali Bacher currently serves as its chairperson.

- SAPA

Read more on:    usaid  |  hiv aids  |  health
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