Saturday, November 15, 2014

ZAMBIA: Circumciised man with HIV misses the point

The Post (Zambia)
October 23, 2014

Circumcised activist with HIV cautions men

by Fridah Nkonde
A 56-YEAR-OLD activist says he contracted HIV despite having been circumcised since birth.

Supporting musician Danny Siulapwa's statement that some young men are rushing to get circumcised for the wrong reasons, Danny Lungu said being circumcised does not exempt one from contracting HIV.
[The question arises whether it has any effect whatsoever.]

"You can contract HIV and AIDS even if you are circumcised. Here I am, I was circumcised when I was a baby but I am living with the virus. I contracted HIV when I was 25 years old.

The information I had that 'when you are circumcised, you cannot contract HIV' misled me," he said. "I used to womanise in the 1990s but I got infected and I came to learn that whether you are circumcised or not, you can still contract HIV."
[So one of the reasons he got HIV was that he was circumcised....]

Lungu, who is married with five children who are all free of the virus, has been living with HIV for the past 24 years and has been on antiretroviral treatment for 14 years.

"My advice to young people is that being circumcised does not give them a passport to sleep around because they can still contract HIV. If you are not circumcised, get circumcised and then continue using condoms," he advised. "There is information on HIV and circumcision everywhere now. In the 90s, we had no such information on issues of HIV and circumcision. I think that somehow contributed to me contracting the virus."

He said circumcision only reduces one's chances of contracting HIV and that it is not a preventive measure.

"It is not automatic that when you are circumcised, you cannot contract HIV. Young ones should go for circumcision and have safe sex by always using condoms or abstaining. We still need the new generation," said Lungu.

Danny observed that some men think they cannot contract HIV once they get circumcised.

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