MP’s To Be Circumcised-Reports

The Daily Telegraph reports that more than 170 Zimbabwean MPs and parliamentary workers have come forward to get circumcised to set a public example and defend themselves against catching HIV/Aids.

As part of the unique HIV/Aids campaign, the politicians will also be tested for the disease and offered counselling if the results come back positive.

The announcement, according to the report, follows the launch of the Zimbabwe Parliamentarians against HIV and Aids (ZIPAH) campaign last week which is aimed at bringing down the country’s infection rate.

While we commend our community leaders for trying to set good examples, we certainly hope that people will not take being circumcised as licences for bad behaviour.

We know that there have been a number of studies that have been conducted to investigate the relationship between male circumcision and HIV infection. Reviews of these studies have reached differing conclusions about whether circumcision could be used as a prevention method against HIV.

It is also well documented that to win the war aganist HIV behaviour change is key. We therefore question whether campaigns like this are absolutely our best attempt in the fight against HIV.

Zimbabwe is estimated to have an HIV infection rate of 15 per cent, one of the highest in the world. At such high levels people will try anything and everything that provides a glimmer of hope.