May 19, 2013
Resistance hinders circumcision programme
by Moses Chibaya
The government set an ambitious target to circumcise three million men by the end of 2015, in its bid to reduce HIV infections in the country.
But to date, only 8% of the target population has been reached, less than two years before the deadline.
United Nations Joint Programme on HIV and Aids (UNAids) country director, Tatiana Shomiliana, said there was need to re-strategise so that more young people can be mobilised for the circumcision programme.
She said while resources had been availed to circumcise over 100 000 males in 2012 alone, far less than half the target was achieved.
“An analysis is going on. We are trying to understand why. Do we target wrong people? Do we message wrongly?” Shomiliana said.
She said wrong packaging of messages was contributing to the poor response to the programme. Shomiliana cited the message “Be a winner, get circumcised” which she said does not clearly bring out what it is that one would be winning by getting circumcised.