August 15, 2014
Circumcision campaign worries Adraby Frank Namangale
Adventist Development Relief Agency (Adra) has warned of unprecedented new wave of HIV infections in the country if campaign messages on circumcision are not disseminated correctly. Adra, at a news conference in Blantyre on Wednesday, said despite the emphasis by the campaigners that circumcision only reduces the risk of contracting the virus, the information management on the subject is poor. Adra deputy country director Michael Usi told the media that the circumcision campaigners that include government and other health-related non-governmental organisations (NGOs), do not, for example, tell when one may have sex after being circumcised. Usi, whose organisation implements HIV and Aids projects among other programmes, said he was concerned that a lot of men are excited with circumcision and indulge in unprotected sex immediately the wound heals, believing they are safe. “Malawi should not be alarmed if it is to wake up one day and face a new wave of infections. It is time we improved on circumcision campaign messages,” he said. Usi regretted that other men were going for circumcision to enhance sex pleasure and that circumcision campaigners have failed to encourage people to continue abstaining, remain faithful or use a condom. “The other thing is that when you go for circumcision, they don’t bother to ask you if you are HIV positive or not. There should have been direct messages warning women about this and it is regrettable that women have been completely left out of the campaign,” he said.