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May 18, 2010

South African President Encourages Circumcision to Lower HIV Risk

South African President Jacob Zuma revealed that he is now circumcised, a disclosure that scientists and health officials hope may encourage other men to undergo the procedure, The New York Times reports. Studies suggest that circumcision may lower heterosexual men’s HIV risk by more than half.

“It has been my style that I don’t hide things,” said Zuma, a member of the Zulu tribe, who explained he had been circumcised “some time ago” but felt going public now would influence other men to follow his lead.

“I thought it was important because that could help quite a few other people who, if I did not do it, they would be hesitant and not knowing what to do,” Zuma said.

Zuma, who has three wives and a fiancée, also went public about having unsafe sex in an extramarital affair, which resulted in a child. According to the Times, Zuma said during a radio interview that a polygamous relationship in which HIV is openly discussed is safer than an alleged monogamous one in which the man has secret mistresses.

South Africa abandoned circumcision in the 19th century, but recently the country began promoting the practice and making it available to the public as a way to reduce new HIV cases.

The country hopes to circumcise millions of men in the upcoming years starting with the Zulu heartland, which has the highest HIV infection rates. There are 5.7 million people living with HIV in South Africa.

Search: South Africa, Jacob Zuma, Zulu, circumcision, HIV, risk, monogamous, polygamous, heterosexual, men

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  comments 1 - 3 (of 3 total)    

Mike A, Nicholasville KY, 2010-05-21 11:51:32
Circumcision to prevent HIV is a fraud. If it was so effective then the US that has a higher circumcision rate should also have a lower HIV rate this is just not the case. Condoms prevent HIV not genital mutilation!

Bert, Harvard, IL, 2010-05-21 01:17:45
I have a problem with the practice of circumcision in general. What's worse here, is that these (primarily) hetero, and possibly even bi men (worse yet!) will still engage in unsafe raw sex because of the ALL TOO FALSE notion that they will now be safe from HIV transmission and not need to use condoms simply because they had the foreskin snipped off from their penises. This is nothing more then reckless and irresponsible policy at it's very worst and most dangerous! DON'T DO IT!

James Loewen, Vancouver, BC, 2010-05-20 12:19:15
Circumcision to "prevent AIDS" is medical fraud, based on junk science. If circumcision were effective why do six African countries Cameroon, Ghana, Lesotho, Malawi, Rwanda, and Swaziland have higher incidences of ADIS in circumcised men? Why does the USA a country with a large circumcised male population have higher rates of HIV/AIDS than many countries with a mostly intact population? Genital mutilation does not prevent illness, it is an illness.

comments 1 - 3 (of 3 total)    

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