15 June 2017

SA parents ‘happy’ to circumcise babies to prevent HIV

The idea that babies be circumcised to help fight the HIV/Aids epidemic appears to be acceptable to a great many South African parents.


The department of health in partnership with USAID and The Centre for HIV and Aids Prevention Studies (CHAPS) are working together to fight the HIV/Aids epidemic by developing a safe and sustainable service delivery model for early infant male circumcision in South Africa. 

Need for discussion

Chief executive officer of CHAPS Dirk Taljaard said CHAPS conducted a study examining the feasibility of early infant male circumcision in Soweto and Orange farm in Johannesburg, Gauteng.  Nearly 70% of 304 urban mothers and 142 fathers showed interest in circumcising their sons before they were six weeks old.

“The study concluded that early infant male circumcision would be acceptable in the country; despite the pull of traditional circumcision during adolescence among certain ethnic groups. However, there should still be discussions at national, provincial, district and local level as soon as possible,” Taljaard said, speaking at the 8th National Aids Conference underway in Durban.

There was some dissent. Siyabonga Zulu, a 34-year-old man from Umlazi, south of Durban, believes that circumcising a minor would be violating their rights. He believed a child should be circumcised only when he has reached an age when he could decide for himself whether to opt for medical or traditional circumcision. – Health-e News.

Read more:

Infant circumcision

Curbing circumcision boosts STDs

Zulu tradition curbs circumcision


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HIV/Aids expert

Dr Sindisiwe van Zyl qualified at the University of Pretoria in 2005. She is a patients' rights activist and loves using social media to teach about HIV. She is in private practice in Johannesburg.

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