Men encouraged to get circumcised this winter

Men have been encouraged to circumcised. Photographer: Armand Hough/Independent Newspapers

Men have been encouraged to circumcised. Photographer: Armand Hough/Independent Newspapers

Published Jun 21, 2024


Men have been encouraged to take advantage of Men’s Health month and get circumcised.

Dr Khumbulani Moyo, head of the voluntary medical male circumcision (VMMC) programme at Right to Care, an NGO, said the procedure was simple and the healing process fast.

Moyo said normal activities could resume within one to three days after the procedure, and it took only six weeks for the wound to heal fully. He emphasised that circumcision helped reduce the sexual transmission of HIV by as much as 60%, pointing out that HIV remained a challenge in SA despite gains made in addressing the epidemic.

“Winter is South Africa’s peak circumcision season, and our experienced teams at health facilities in Gauteng, Free State, Eastern Cape, Western Cape, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, North West and KwaZulu-Natal are ready to offer men free, safe circumcisions. June is also Men’s Health Month, so it is an opportune time to circumcise,” he said.

Moyo warned South Africans not to become complacent about HIV. This as the Human Sciences Research Council’s 6th SA National HIV Prevalence, Incidence, and Behaviour Surveyed shows that HIV disproportionately affected young people and women.

“The survey also revealed that HIV prevalence is highest in KwaZulu-Natal, followed by Mpumalanga, Free State, Eastern Cape, North West, Gauteng, Limpopo, Northern Cape, and Western Cape,” Moyo explained.

He said circumcision was an important part of a man’s overall physical health. Moyo said comprehensive health screenings were done before the circumcision procedure, and patients were referred to other professionals if necessary.

“We are also appealing to older men to circumcise. You can circumcise at any age and reduce your risk of becoming infected with HIV. Circumcision also assists in preventing the transmission of the human papillomavirus virus (HPV), the leading cause of cervical cancer in women.”

Moyo added that medical circumcision was done under local anaesthetic and took only 30 minutes. Besides the anaesthetic injection before the procedure, there was very little pain.

“Your healthcare worker will tell you everything you need to know, including how to care for your wound,” said Moyo.

Many men worry about the effect of circumcision on their sex life, but when performed in a medical facility and under sterile conditions, circumcision has no adverse effects on sexual function or pleasure.

“It is only during the six-week healing process that you should not have sex or masturbate,” Moyo explained .

Independent on Saturday