HIV/AIDS activists in Zimbabwe are hailing the inclusive government for ramping up its male circumcision drive targeting about 1,2 million children and adults with the aim of lowering their chances of contracting the virus that causes the pandemic.
The campaign got a major boost Wednesday when the United States Agency for International Development and the John Snow International jointly donated US$1,5 million worth of medical equipment to facilitate 28 000 procedures.
The equipment was availed through the United States government-run President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief.
“We are proud to support the Zimbabwe Ministry of Health in its efforts to support and promote widespread use of male circumcision in the fight against HIV/AIDS,” said USAID Health Development Officer Peter Halpert.
The Health Ministry is working with organizations including the Population Services International to circumcise at least 80 percent of males between the ages of 15 and 49.
Male circumcision has been proven by the World Health Organization to cut chances of contracting HIV by 60 percent.
Government says only 10 percent of Zimbabwe’s men are circumcised.
Coordinator Tapuwanashe Kujinga of the Pan African Treatment Access Movement, assisting those infected with the virus said he was pleased at the government’s efforts, but said more awareness is needed.
Kujinga told VOA Studio 7 reporter, Marvellous Mhlanga-Nyahuye that men who go under the knife should still use protective methods to avoid getting infected.