Health NGO Right to Care, which performed 1m medical circumcisions in five years, is prepared for the winter school holidays when many young men will choose to undergo circumcisions. Working closely with the Health Department, Right to Care is offering free and safe circumcisions at clinics and health facilities in the Thabo Mofutsanyane District in the Free State.
It is proven that circumcision helps reduce the sexual transmission of HIV as well of some sexually transmitted infections. It also helps reduce the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) which causes cervical cancer in women. There is also evidence that a large-scale circumcision programme can prevent large numbers of new HIV infections and save lives.
Dr Khumbulani Moyo, medical male circumcision project director at Right to Care, says, “Men who circumcise this winter must visit the clinic two days after the procedure so that healthcare workers can check that the wound is clean and is healing properly. They must follow all the directions the healthcare workers give them. Moyo adds that, “Even after circumcision, condom use remains vital to prevent the transmission of HIV.”
He also warns of some of the myths that still exist around circumcision. These are:
Myth 1: Circumcision prevents HIV transmission
Voluntary male medical circumcision doesn’t totally eliminate HIV transmission but it does reduce it significantly. Using a condom is still advised.
Myth 2: The healing process is painful
After the procedure, the nurses will give you a pack and show you how to clean your wound. You must clean the wound properly and keep your healthcare appointments. You can take up sport again after only two weeks. Healing takes approximately six weeks.
Myth 3: Circumcision will interfere with my ability to enjoy sex
Circumcision has no adverse effects on sexual function or pleasure. But you must have your circumcision in a medical facility and/or under sterile conditions. You should not have sex or masturbate during the six-week healing process. Studies show that there is no difference in sexual desire, function or sensitivity after a man has been circumcised.
Myth 4: The healing process is too long and may impact on my income
Circumcision is a quick and simple procedure and takes six weeks for a full recovery. Actual time off work is just a couple of days. You can ask for a doctor’s certificate to hand to your work.
Myth 5: Circumcision causes tetanus infections
You will not develop tetanus if you have your circumcision under sterile conditions and if you keep your follow-up appointments. You can speak to your healthcare worker about the tetanus vaccination.
This easy and safe procedure can be performed by qualified healthcare professionals at no charge at the following healthcare facilities in the Free State’s Thabo Mofutsanyane District:
JD Newberry CHC
Elizabeth Ross Hospital
Paul Roux Clinic
Tshiame B Clinic