Circumcision no ticket to irresponsibility

2013-05-30 22:18

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Pretoria - Being circumcised must not be viewed as a licence to promiscuous relations, Higher Education Deputy Minister Mduduzi Manana said on Thursday.

"The message remains one: which is prevention. Circumcision has been proven to reduce chances of contracting HIV infections and STIs [sexually transmitted diseases] more significantly," he told students at Tshwane University of Technology, west of Pretoria.

"However, more importantly, circumcision is neither a cure nor prevention against contracting these diseases, it reduces the chances of getting them."

Manana was speaking at the launch of a voluntary medical male circumcision campaign, which intends to circumcise 10 000 young men before the end of the year.

He urged students, particularly those who underwent circumcision, to shun promiscuity.

"Voluntary medical male circumcision is just one part of a total strategy to combat HIV in the overlapping strategies, which include behavioural change and condom promotion and use," Manana said.

"Going through medical circumcision is not a ticket for any young man to live an irresponsible life thinking that they will not get infected by HIV.

"It remains critical for you to take responsibility."

HIV and Aids prevalence was endemic in tertiary education. Manana said students from poor backgrounds were more susceptible to the disease.

Health Minister Dr Aaron Motsoaledi said unscrupulous people were abusing the traditional ritual of circumcision to earn quick money.

He said post mortems had shown that the deaths of Mpumalanga initiates were a result of preventable factors like bleeding and hypothermia.

"At least 20 of them in Mpumalanga died of haemorrhage and hypothermia.

"We know that these things happen when you don't [take precautions]. They never involved any health worker or followed rules," he said in Pretoria.

"They just went to do it [circumcisions] and were surprised when people were dying.

'They want the money and we know they are charging [the initiates' parents] a lot."

He said the establishment of new initiation schools across the country was because "culturepreneurs" were profiting.

"It's fast money. That is exactly what we have observed. They can hide behind culture, but we know the culture practised by [legitimate] traditional leaders protects children," he said.

"The culturepreneurs are moving from one place, making money, and they don't care."

Read more on:    aaron motsoaledi  |  mduduzi manana  |  hiv aids  |  health  |  education

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