Male circumcision: Were Zimbabweans not duped!
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Almost two years down the line, a lot of scepticism grounded on how effective circumcision is as an HIV and AIDS antidote, continues to hog the limelight with no precise answer.
To get circumcised or not, is one question that many people still do not have a precise answer to. This has been compounded by recent revelations that the intervention does not provide what many people thought.
Mixed reactions have confronted the assumed effectiveness that circumcision was touted to have.
When those who moved for the method propounded its magical hold as an HIV and AIDS prevention mechanism, there was excitement.
But barely two years later, the anticipation has been transformed to confusion, as ordinary people have been left wondering whether those who opted for circumcision were given a false sense of security.
But did people get the circumcision message right from the onset.
Health and Child Welfare Parliamentary Portfolio Committee Chairperson, Dr David Parirenyatwa says circumcision on its own is not enough, but rather thrives on being complimented by other interventions such as the correct and consistent use of condoms.
HIV and AIDS Parliamentary Portfolio Committee Chairperson, Mr Blessing Chebundo draws examples from West African nations which have adopted circumcision as part of their culture, religion and beliefs where he points out that there is less prevalence than in Southern Africa.
In the midst of all the confusion, proponents of circumcision still maintain that it offers a 60% chance against HIV.
But then again the question would be why then bother to get circumcised when one will still require using other methods such as condoms?
What has brought more confusion is that some studies even claim that circumcised men are even at more risk of contracting HIV than those who are not circumcised.
Of concern has been the failure by policy makers to look at other variables, especially the link between circumcision and Islam which has tough moral laws which forbid prostitution.
No one has bothered to explain why South Africa has one of the highest rates of HIV infection despite the majority of indigenous people undergoing circumcision, while no attempt has been made to explain why Zimbabwe's Varemba people have not been spared by the pandemic despite every male child getting circumcised as adolescents.
With the hype on the circumcision subject now giving way to reality, a number of questions remain to be answered.
Has Zimbabwe's policy makers become this desperate that they will accept every half-baked research to take it as a national programme no matter how misleading it might be?
Why is it that Zimbabwe has no proper strategy in dealing with the problem of HIV and will adopt anything thrown on the table as witnessed in the microbicides fiasco where HIV negative people were left infected?
It is a fact that HIV and AIDS are not national problems in the USA and other Western countries.
So do those who prescribe such methods for Sub-Saharan Africa adopt the same strategies or interventions in their own countries?
What makes Zimbabweans feel safe that they are not being used as parts of experiments?
Is Zimbabwe not falling prey to the so called AIDS industry which has left many countries conned by people who are out to receive donor funding?
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