June 22, 2012
More than 40
Zimbabwean lawmakers have volunteered to be
circumcised as part of a campaign to boost AIDS
awareness in the southern African nation, said
Lovemore Moyo, the speaker of Parliament.
Legislators are “leading by example” in getting
tested for HIV and being circumcised, Moyo said
at a ceremony today in Harare, the capital, to
mark the start of the program.
Zimbabwe has an adult infection rate for HIV,
the virus that causes the fatal disease Aids, of
about 15 percent, according to the National AIDS
Council, a state agency. A circumcision program
in South Africa found the procedure reduced the
rate of HIV infections among men who had it done
by 76 percent, according to a study presented at
an AIDS conference in Rome last year.
“Now I can go out and speak clearly and proudly
and urge Zimbabweans that this thing can be
done,” Blessing Chebundo, a lawmaker from
central town of Kwekwe, said. “I am more than 50
years old now and I have done it.”
Circumcision is the surgical removal of a skin
that covers the tip of the penis. Studies have
shown the pocket between the foreskin and the
tip of the penis gives viruses and bacteria an
area to grow. The foreskin has been shown to be
rich in cells that carry HIV into the body.