An estimated 2 000 men were medically circumcised over the weekend in a bid to raise awareness about reducing the risk of contracting HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases.
The circumcisions were done in Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumpalanga and North West.
Among those who underwent the procedure was 33-year-old actor Kagiso Modupe, who launched the nationwide campaign recently to mobilise men to get circumcised regardless of their age or health status.
According to the campaign’s partner organisations, Right to Care, Brothers for Life, CHAPS and MatCH, 150 clinics in the four provinces participated in #ZwakalaSkeem Day, which means “come with me, brother”.
“Circumcision is proven to reduce the risk of getting infected by HIV and other sexually transmitted infections and to reduce risk for cervical, anal and prostate cancer. It has benefits for both men and women,” the group said in a statement.
Dr Khumbulani Moyo, medical male circumcision manager at the USAid-funded Voluntary Male Medical Circumcision Consortium, said some men raised the issue of traditional verses medical circumcision.
“It is a choice,” said Moyo. “Medical male circumcisions can take place in a traditional context where it marks the transition from boy to man. The point is to incorporate the medical procedure regardless of religious or cultural background, which is very important from a healthcare perspective.
“I was circumcised today (Saturday), but this is just the beginning and I call on all men to circumcise because it is the right thing to do for them and their partners’ health.”
Modupe admitted he had been apprehensive.
“But once I had the local anaesthetic, I quickly realised I didn’t need to worry. Some guys said I was too old to be circumcised, but this is simply not true. Boys and men can be circumcised at any age. I am so grateful to every single one of the men who are doing the right thing today for themselves and for their partners. I felt so much support.”