24 January 2012

Kenya: Cut Men Have Many Mates

THE Ministry of Public Health and Sanitation in conjunction with the National Male Circumcision tas kforce have expressed concern over reports of multiple sex partners among those who recently underwent male circumcision.

Nyanza provincial director of publichealth and sanitation, who is also the task force chairman Jackson Kioko, said therehave been reports that those who have been circumcised are taking it as immunity againstHIV.

Speaking during the launch of the resultsof the third rapid results initiative on male circumcision, Kioko said the taskforce will conduct a study to ascertain post-male circumcision sexual behaviour. During the launch of the exercise, itscritics including the Luo Council of Elders said the programme will be disastrous if not well packaged and the beneficiaries sensitised on itsimplication.

The council of elders argued that marketing male circumcision on the platform of preventing HIV was going to erode the overallgoal since many men will take it as complete immunity. Studies conducted in Rabai in Uganda,Orange Farm in South Africa and Kisumu indicate that male circumcision canprevent HIV infection by over 60 per cent. The studies, however, warn that male circumcisionshould not be relied upon as a stand-alone intervention against HIV/Aids.

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