December 7, 2009
South Africa’s Zulu King Promotes Male Circumcision
South African King Goodwill Zwelithini has proposed reintroducing the practice of circumcision to curb HIV transmission among Zulus, reports BBC News. Traditionally practiced as part of a Zulu ritual, circumcision was outlawed by King Shaka in the 19th century when he claimed that it sidelined young warriors for months at a time.
But, according to the article, the Zulu nation is embracing South African President Jacob Zuma’s recent call to make the fight against HIV/AIDS a top priority.
King Zwelithini said, “In the context of the fight against HIV and AIDS, I should announce my intention to revive the practice of circumcision amongst young men.”
Studies have shown that circumcised men have 50 percent less chance of contracting HIV than uncircumcised men. Five million people are living with HIV in South Africa—the highest prevalence in the world.
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