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Safe Male Circumcision Targets failing

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A lot of men still refuse to undergo the Safe Male Circumcision procedure that Botswana government has been promoting ever since health specialists linked the spread of HIV to the foreskin on the male member.

In 2009, Botswana started the campaign to get men circumcising and set a target of cutting off the skin on 55 000 men by 2012, a number they are yet to reach this year according to released reports from NACA and the health ministry. A strategy was thus undertaken to target newly-born babies as well as school-going boys to deal with the fear of pain and loss of working time given by most grown ups as the reason for their refusal to circumcise. But what has fascinated observers is the purported notion that the size of a penis has a significant influence on the number of stitches he should get during the procedure.

The belief by some is that the bigger a man is, the more stitches and anaesthetic he will need.

This has however been refuted by Conrad Ntsuape, an authority who has coordinated the safe male circumcision programme. He revealed that the number of stitches were largely dependent on the wound, arguing that it was important to stitch the wound so as it closes and avoids infection. Many men have reported a fear of not only pain, but have expressed a worry on their recovery period which might affect their sex lives. “During that period, my woman could be starved for sex and end up seeking relief from other men. That could negatively encourage infidelity and ironically increase infections all the same,” a man refusing to do it observed. A report published in the International Aids Society journal of 2009 claimed that almost 70 000 new HIV infections would be prevented by 2025 if 55 000 men in Botswana were circumcised by 2012. The bigger picture is to reach a national target of 385 000 men by 2016.

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