U.S. donates R99?million for voluntary medical circumcision

2013-07-02 00:00

CAPE TOWN — South Africa has ­received R99 million to support the voluntary medical circumcision of boys and men.

This was announced yesterday by Dr Eric Goosby, global Aids co-ordinator for the U.S., after President Barack Obama and his entourage left Cape Town for the final leg of his African tour.

A total of $10 million (R99 million) was donated to the project as part of the President’s Emergency Plan for Aids Relief (Pepfar).

In 2012, 170 000 men in SA volunteered to be circumcised and Pepfar hopes to give another 500 000 the cut this year.

Goosby said men aged between 15 and 49 could undergo the procedure free at clinics, where they would also receive information on HIV/Aids, condoms and an Aids test. Boys under 18 must have a parent’s permission.

The money is part of a total of $46 million (R455 million) that South Africa will receive from Pepfar this year.

Goosby said there was scientific proof that male circumcision reduced a man’s chance of contracting HIV/Aids and other sexually transmitted diseases by 60%.

If eight in 10 men between the ages of 15 and 49 are circumcised, it is estimated South Africa would have one million fewer HIV cases in 2025. This could save SA R54 million in treatment costs.

• Meanwhile, the recent number of deaths from initiation schools in the Eastern Cape rose from 16 to 22, the DA said in a statement.

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