PMB opens two sites for male circumcision

2010-05-17 00:00

PIETERMARITZBURG has two new male circumcision centres, at Edendale Hospital and East Boom Community Health Centre in Boom Street, part of a research project spearheaded by Gauteng-based Society for Family Health to determine the effectiveness of male circumcision as a measure to fight HIV and Aids and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

The society approached KwaZulu-Natal Health Department for permission to undertake the research and the go-ahead was given.

The research project is funded by the U.S. Presidential Emergency Plan for Aids Relief.

Project manager Cynthia Nhlapo said studies show an increasing number ofthe country’s men are willing to be circumcised as a way of taking responsibility for sexual health.

She said these findings do not, however, obviate the need for continuous and consistent use of condoms.

“KZN has the highest HIV prevalence, and opening a site for this operation in the province will go a long way in fighting the disease and other sexually transmitted diseases,” said Nhlapo.

“The male organ is rich in cells which are targeted by the HIV virus. Therefore the removal of the foreskin minimises the breeding ground for the virus and other STIs.”

Nhlapo added that other benefits of the operation are protection against penile cancer and reduced risk of cervical cancer.

KZN Health spokesperson Chris Maxon said the province has given its blessing. “This is one of the flagship projects … If the outcomes of these two centres are in line with the desires of the department, such sites would be considered throughout the province.”

Circumcision is free and counselling is provided.

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