Free Circumcision Offered at McCord
South Africa is the epicentre of the world’s HIV pandemic, with more people living with HIV in this country than in any other country in the world. Within South Africa, KwaZulu Natal is the hardest hit province, with some communities reporting HIV rates as high as 60% of the population. In this climate, we need to do everything within our power to assist our young people to remain free from HIV. We know that, despite knowing about the risks of HIV transmission and teenage pregnancy, people are still taking risks and engaging in unprotected sex, with dire consequences.
With this in mind, McCord Hospital launched a free male circumcision project in February 2011. Male medical circumcision reduces the risk of HIV transmission to men by 60 %. It also significantly reduces the risk of other sexually transmitted infections and offers a number of other benefits including improved hygiene, reduced risk of penile cancer and a reduction in the risk of cervical cancer for female partners. We are providing free male medical circumcisions to men aged 15 to 49 years. This is made possible thanks to funding from the US Presidents’ Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), who has recognised the need to enable Southern African hospitals to contribute to HIV prevention in this way.
McCord has always been at the forefront of the fight against HIV in Durban, with our HIV programme, Sinikithemba, having initiated over 8,000 people onto anti-retroviral therapy since 1994. In 2011, we continue to see the HIV rates increasing despite information and education being readily available and treatment being more accessible than ever before. We must now cast the prevention net even wider, and male medical circumcision is one way to do that. We need to tackle HIV prevention from every angle possible: through prevention education and information, through cutting edge treatment, and through circumcision which alone can reduce HIV transmission to men by 60%.
Please help us to spread the word about this free circumcision offer far and wide. The more men we can reach, the greater impact we will have on reducing HIV rates in the Durban region. The circumcision clinic is operational 5 days per week during the June school holidays.
McCord is aiming to circumcise over 8,500 men in the project’s first year of operation. Circumcisions are performed as a day procedure, with no overnight hospital stay required. The actual procedure takes about 15-20 minutes and is done under local anaesthetic, so besides a small injection, there is little pain. Patients are provided with analgaesics to assist with any pain.
Men are able to have their circumcision performed on an appointment basis. They are requested to return for review on the 2nd day after the procedure, and many can return to normal daily activities thereafter.
Circumcision is a part of a HIV-prevention strategy, and accordingly all men who wish to come for a circumcision will need to undergo HIV counselling and testing prior to making their booking. HIV negative and HIV positive men with CD4 counts of 200 or above are able undergo the procedure. HIV positive men with a CD4 count of less than 200 will be referred to McCord’s HIV programme –Sinikithemba, and can undergo circumcision once their CD4 count has improved.
It is important that men understand that circumcision does not offer full protection from HIV infection. It has been shown to reduce the transmission of HIV infection, however, it does not completely eliminate it and circumcised men must continue to practise safe sex. Circumcision should be viewed as one of several different prevention options.
Men wanting to book for the procedure should phone 031 209 3295 or 031 209 3297 or email email@example.com.
Published in: News & Events