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Zimbabwe doing better than UK on HIV circumcision-implementation

Published: December 14, 2011

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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.

 

Henry Madzorera

Ahead of UK and other countries...Health Minister - Henry Madzorera

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)


WPSN comments

19 Comments on "Zimbabwe doing better than UK on HIV circumcision-implementation"

  1. Ronald Goldman, Ph.D. on Wed, 14th Dec 2011 2:10 am 

    Many professionals have criticized the studies claiming that circumcision reduces HIV transmission. They have various flaws. Authorities that cite the studies have other agendas. Circumcision causes physical, sexual, and psychological harm. Other methods to prevent HIV transmission (e.g., condoms and sterilizing medical instruments) are much more effective, much cheaper, and much less invasive. Please see *****//www.circumcision.org/hiv.htm for more information.

  2. Ian Cooper on Wed, 14th Dec 2011 3:05 am 

    Actually, the UK is ahead of Zimbabwe, since the latest findings about circumcision suggest that it INCREASES viral transmission.

    Why should the UK offer a non-therapeutic and severely damaging mutilation for free?

  3. Bla Miki on Wed, 14th Dec 2011 7:06 am 

    Fine, where does our PM’s zip stands, still open as usual or closed for now?

  4. CHANDO KUPISA on Wed, 14th Dec 2011 11:15 am 

    Chematama is retarding progress of combarting AIDS.

  5. julliana zivanai on Wed, 14th Dec 2011 1:21 pm 

    mwana wemurungu akaoma vakomana anogara ari one-step ahead mava nesoro dziri perfectly mutilated -inozi *****.

  6. Mupemhe Cheanakirwe on Wed, 14th Dec 2011 1:48 pm 

    Where are you Editor,munosiya Juliana achitituka sei,rake tambotaura nezvaro here pano !

  7. Tom Tobin on Wed, 14th Dec 2011 4:15 pm 

    There is plenty of evidence that circumcision does nothing to fight HIV.
    There are more studies which show that men with foreskins are less likely to get HIV, than there are studies which show that circumcised men are less likely to get HIV.
    The answer is not in genital surgery.
    The answer is in wearing a condom.

  8. Mark Lyndon on Wed, 14th Dec 2011 4:44 pm 

    From the USAID report “LEVELS AND SPREAD OF HIV SEROPREVALENCE AND ASSOCIATED FACTORS: EVIDENCE FROM NATIONAL HOUSEHOLD SURVEYS”
    “There appears no clear pattern of association between male circumcision and HIV prevalence—in 8 of 18 countries with data, HIV prevalence is lower among circumcised men, while in the remaining 10 countries it is higher.”
    *****//www.measuredhs.com/pubs/pdf/CR22/CR22.pdf

    The South African National Communication Survey on HIV/AIDS, 2009 found that 15% of adults across age groups “believe that circumcised men do not need to use condoms”.
    *****//www.info.gov.za/issues/hiv/survey_2009.htm

    From the committee of the South African Medical Association Human Rights, Law & Ethics Committee :
    “the Committee expressed serious concern that not enough scientifically-based evidence was available to confirm that circumcisions prevented HIV contraction and that the public at large was influenced by incorrect and misrepresented information. The Committee reiterated its view that it did not support circumcision to prevent HIV transmission.”

    The one randomized controlled trial into male-to-female transmission showed a 54% higher rate in the group where the men had been circumcised btw:
    *****//www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(09)60998-3/abstract

    ABC (Abstinence, Being faithful, and especially Condoms) is the way forward. Promoting genital surgery will cost African lives, not save them.

  9. Loya on Wed, 14th Dec 2011 5:07 pm 

    How can we be proud of cutting that piece of skin. Britons dont need circumcision coz their hiv prevalence rate is very low. Behavior change is what we need. We pay for the Circumcision through the compulsory & contributory AIDS levy deducted from our salaries.

  10. Hairry Potter on Wed, 14th Dec 2011 8:58 pm 

    Yah I guess circumcision is ineffective but just that its ineffectivity is masked by the fact that those who go for it are already afraid of the virus, such that they won’t engage in risky behavior in one way or the other. Vanhu varikuita research idzodzo varikubika basa nemafindings ari ‘tailor-made’

  11. Tom Tobin on Wed, 14th Dec 2011 9:12 pm 

    I disagree. I think that a lot of people get circumcised, and then want to believe that they have less chance of contracting HIV without using a condom.
    I think that attitude is spreading HIV even faster.

  12. Hugh7 on Wed, 14th Dec 2011 9:46 pm 

    This is just a silly comparison, because there is no suggestion that mass circumcision would do any good in the UK. (The rate is low, and female-to-male transmission is a very small part of the problem there.)

    In Zimbabwe in 2005, the male HIV rates were, circumcised 16.6%, non-circumcised 14.2% according to USAID, *****//www.measuredhs.com/pubs/pdf/CR22/CR22.pdf. More of the circumcised men have HIV than the non-circumcised in 10 out of 18 countries. That should at least be explained before blundering ahead with mass circumcision campaigns.

    They tried mass circumcision in the Commonwealth in the mid-20th-century, found it did no good against any of the other things it was suppposed to be good for, and have virtually given it up. Now it’s hard to find a doctor willing to do it. Yet New Zealand’s HIV rate is one of the lowest in the world.

    The claims about “millions being protected” are just wild speculation.

  13. Konson Brian on Wed, 14th Dec 2011 9:51 pm 

    A condom can offer absolute protection, what circumcision doesn’t offer. . .but looking @ physiology of coitus, I don’t understand how a circumsised male is at a higher risk in unprotected sex. . . .& how it (circumcision) causes psychological trauma, are there reports of males who become impotent after the procedure? After all physical trauma lasts barely 1.5 months. . .Anyway, circumcision is better as a hygenic measure not condom replacement. . . .so next time tell them “circumcision-60%” add. . .”condom-absolute”

  14. Mike Collin on Thu, 15th Dec 2011 12:09 am 

    It seems the anti-circ activists love to promote the idea tha circumcision is dangerous and useless. Well is it? First, if we lived in a perfect world
    withought harmful viruses etc.and if body parts such as a foreskin never
    caused a person any problems, then maybe we could consider circumcision harmful and useless. Sorry but its not a perfect world. Viruses such as HIV,Herpes and HPV all
    have an easier time entering the inner surface of the foreskin either through small tares in the lining or because of the immune response
    from such cells as Langerhan. Unfortunately an immune response to a virus such as HIV and Herpes is pretty much the same as the Trojan horse, and once its
    in its there to stay.

    As we all know, a number of studies show each of these viruses to be more common in uncircumcised males. Circumcision is not a cure all but it is considered
    by many to be a preventive measure. Yes condoms provides protection from these viruses, but you are living in a fantasy world if you think for one second
    that people always use them.
    Have you ever checked into unplanned pregnancies for example, especially among young people, i think this speakes for itself.

    From day one after an infant is circumcised, benefits start. UTI’s are less frequent for the first year of life, phimosis, paraphimosis, balanitis, thrush,
    cancer, frenulum tares (which can be very painful involving a lot of blood ) can all be either reduced or eliminated for a lifetime. As for ceanliness,
    well, thats a no brainer.
    Smegma, and fermented urine can form under the foreskin within a couple hours especially if small amounts of urine get trapped and start mixing with oils
    and shedded skin. Many reports describe the smell as
    repulsive.

    If anything can be done to help give someone and better defence against all these problems then maybe it should be considered more and parents should start
    requesting it more often.

  15. Ron Low on Thu, 15th Dec 2011 1:46 am 

    Foreskin feels REALLY good.

    As long as a man is fully imformed about the known sexual losses and other risks and drawbacks, and about how

    most of the US men who have died of AIDS were circumcised at birth,

    then there is no problem with him choosing circumcision for himself. But why should any government pay for cosmetic surgery? 95% of the non-Muslim world does not circumcise.

  16. julliana zivanai on Thu, 15th Dec 2011 11:22 am 

    mupemhe wembama huya tikufungaidze ndiyo mai ako akakubara avata nebere.

  17. Hugh7 on Thu, 15th Dec 2011 10:47 pm 

    “UTI’s are less frequent for the first year of life” That kind of statement is debatable, but even if true it is misleading. How much less frequent? It turns out it would take hundreds of cirrcumcisions, with all their risk and harm, to prevent one UTI, which can be readily treated by other means if it ever occurs – as it always is in girls.

    Anyone who mentions smegma (Greek for soap) as a reason to cut parts off males needs whatever else they say to be regarded with great suspicion. Smegma is much more copious and pungent in females, yet cutting any part off them is illegal.

  18. richie moyo on Fri, 16th Dec 2011 10:03 am 

    yes minister, you are right. zim is ahead of zimbabwe in fooling people to be circumcised and quickly get the virus. varungu vakangwara, whay cant they lead in the trials. tichachema because vafana vedu inculiding tsvangirai vakurova nyoro everywhere

  19. Monique MD on Wed, 28th Dec 2011 5:05 pm 

    HPV is not more common in intact males. Circumcised males have it on the shaft and just as easily transmit it. HPV is an epidemic in the U.S. and most males here are circumcised. HIV is not more common in intact males: many circumcising countries including the U.S. have much higher HIV rates. Studies of herpes give mixed results-it may or may not be more common in intact males. But then those of us with lips may get more cold sores, but we are not going to cut them off. Langerhans cells have immunologic functions and serve to decrease infections. Abrasions and tears are more common in keratinized circumcised males. The African studies show an absolute risk reduction of about 1%, which is not clinically important and about half the males in those studies acquired HIV through non-sexual means. Those studies are biased, extremely flawed and therefore could not measure what they intended to measure: the impact of circumcision on sexually-transmitted HIV. Promoting circumcision in Africa or Britain, or anywhere, is all about the promoters gaining power and money. It is all a big fraud perpetrated by racists.

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