800 KZN men circumcised

2010-06-08 19:07

Durban - More than 800 men have been circumcised in KwaZulu-Natal to help combat HIV infections, said Premier Zweli Mkhize on Tuesday.

“So far 800 males have been circumcised as of the end of April. We are very happy with the programme,” said Mkhize.

He said the provincial government had set a target of circumcising 47 055 newborn boys and 186 703 males during the 2010/11 financial year.

The KwaZulu-Natal government recently mobilised traditional leaders in the province to rally behind King Goodwill Zwelithini's call for young men to undergo medical circumcision to help prevent new infections.

Strong evidence from clinical trials in Orange Farm in Gauteng, Kenya and Uganda had demonstrated that circumcised males had close to 60% less chance of acquiring HIV during sexual intercourse than uncircumcised men.

This means that medical male circumcision is partially protective.

The national government had also thrown its weight behind the circumcision programme.

Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe recently said he welcomed efforts by the KwaZulu-Natal government to roll out male circumcisions.

Mkhize said the department and the United States Government’s Presidential Emergency Plan for Aids Relief would hold the first male circumcision camp at Eshowe’s FET College between June 11 and 13.

Young men between the ages of 14 and 25 years would be circumcised.

The male circumcision programme targets mainly men between 14 and 45 years but the government was also encouraging women to circumcise their newborn children immediately after birth.

There would be health education, traditional counselling and recreation activities during the camp.