Sunday’s New York Times includes a story about the effectiveness of government circumcision efforts in Botswana and Kenya: persuading men to undergo the procedure, which reduces the risk of contracting HIV by more than half. In contrast, the South African government has been largely silent on the procedure, and this has public health officials concerned. Fortunately, men do have access to circumcision for free at the Orange Farm clinic, which is funded by France.
The demand for male circumcision, although not officially promoted by the government as an effective way to combat HIV infection, is apparently high:
Even without government involvement, demand for the surgery, performed free under local anesthetic, has surged over the last year here at the Orange Farm clinic. The men are counseled to continue using condoms since circumcision provides partial, though substantial protection.
Men waited nervously one recent chilly morning for their turn. Most were hoping the procedure would help them stay healthy here in the nation with more H.I.V.-positive people than any other.
The article also details the successes that Kenya and Botswana have seen in reducing infection through government backing for male circumcision; without a strong statement of government support, South Africa will not see such results.
To read the full article, please click here.
-Until There’s A Cure