Financial Times, IPS Report On Male Circumcision As HIV Prevention Strategy

Male circumcision is “a practice that — despite the evidence — has yet to be adopted as much or as fast as experts had hoped,” the Financial Times reports. “International organizations have publicly endorsed the importance of circumcision, and a number of guidelines have been established, but the response so far has been haphazard and funding remains modest,” the newspaper writes, adding, “One reason has been that much government donor and philanthropic support for HIV prevention work was focused instead on more ‘high-tech’ alternatives such as vaccines and microbicides” (Jack, 11/30).

In related news, Inter Press Service writes, “Although at first glance male circumcision may not be the most obvious entree to get people talking about gender equality, activists in the Western Cape in South Africa are attempting to do just that.” The news service reports on how, “[a]s part of a national strategy to reduce the number of new HIV infections in South Africa, where some 10 percent of the population is HIV-positive, the Western Cape province began offering free medical male circumcision (MMC) in selected public clinics across the province this October,” and “[t]he first phase of the effort to use MMC as a platform to promote gender equality has come in the form of raising awareness” through posters, brochures, and peer education (Middleton, 12/1).