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Published: December 14, 2011
Zimbabwe under its Health minister Henry Madzorera, is currently ahead of its colonial parent Britain in the HIV prevention methods through circumcision of men, it has emerged.
The UK nation is still to implement free circumcision for its population despite current UK National Aids Trust documents which reveal that the method of circumcision is effective to prevent HIV-AIDS infections by up to 60%.
At present circumcision in the UK costs up to £500 (circa-US760) per person. However in Zimbabwe the service is free and Zimbabweans in the UK may able to easily fly back home, get circumcised and return back to the UK.
The development comes after another announcement in August in which Zimbabwe’s Minister of Health and Child Welfare Henry Madzorera said his country has now emerged to become one of the best countries in the Sadc region providing acceptable health care facilities to its people.
The UK’s NAT fact sheet states that: There is now clear evidence to show that circumcision can reduce the risk of HIV infection through vaginal intercourse in heterosexual men by up to 60%
The WHO(World Health Organisation) and UNAIDS have recommended that circumcision be included as an additional, important element in HIV prevention programmes
Condom Protection still vital
Prevention methods through condom protection are still necessary however. Despite the hailed success, the fact sheet still imposes that:
“Men undergoing circumcision should be advised that condoms are still necessary and are still the best way of preventing HIV transmission through sexual intercourse.”
While a comment is awaited from the UK’s NAT, the current possible reason the UK may have not been as vigilant as Zimbabwe may be because the recent conference in Vienna which passed the current medical arguments, the method was suggested for East and Southern Africa where it was stated that over four million new HIV infections in the region could be prevented by 2025 if male circumcision was increased by 80%, along with a $20.2 billion saving in HIV-related health costs between 2009-2025. (ZimEye, UK)