The US President’s Emergency Plan for Aids Relief has provided more than R30 million to speed up medical male circumcision in Mzansi over the next five years.
This is good news as the World marked Aids Day on 1 December.
Medical male circumcision has been widely promoted as a way to curb the HIV infection rate as it has been shown to reduce a man’s lifetime risk of HIV acquisition through heterosexual sex by up to 60%, which in a country like ours – that has nearly 7 million people living with HIV – cannot be ignored.
Rachael Rawlinson, chief operations officer at CareWorks, said the money will go to high-risk areas such as KZN, Mpumalanga in Gauteng.
She said CareWorks, the Department of Health and other partners have made a big difference in the lives of the more than 2,3 million men who have chosen to get the cut at clinics.
“Soon South Africa will reach a point where people on antiretroviral treatment will outstrip new HIV infections – a turning point in the HIV epidemic. Medical male circumcision plays a critical role in reaching this turning point,” said Rawlinson.
The World Health Organisation wants 25 million men, across the 14 priority countries in Africa, to be circumcised by 2020.