By Chief K.Masimba Biriwasha | Group Online At Large
HARARE, Zimbabwe – Zimbabwe requires US$100 million to achieve a target of 1,2 million voluntary male medical circumcision (removal of the foreskin of the male penis) among young men aged between 15 and 30, according to AIDS and TB Director, Dr Owen Mugurungi, adding that 71,185 circumcisions had been conducted since inception of the programme.
“Our goal is to contribute to the reduction of HIV incidence by scaling up MC to reach 80 per cent of 15-29 year old HIV negative men by 2015 as part of a comprehensive HIV prevention programme,” said Mugurungi, adding that a total of 71,185 male circumcisions since inception of the programme in 2009.
Mugurungi said 80 per cent male circumcision coverage among adults 15-49 by 2015 could avert a total of 600 000 new HIV infections averted by 2025 with a total savings of US$3 billion in public health.
He added that male circumcision could lead to reduced risk of urinary infections in childhood, reduced risk of some STI’s, protection against cancer of penis, reduced risk of HPV infection and cervical cancer in female sex partners and improved personal hygiene and prevention of medical problems of the penis and foreskin such as phimosis, balanitis.
Mugurungi said that male circumcision should be provided as part of a comprehensive package of sexual reproductive health services and HIV prevention. He also emphasized that it was important to stress that male circumcision does not provide 100 per cent protection against HIV infection and STIs or protection against unwanted pregnancy.