Botswana To Begin HIV Prevention Campaign That Focuses on Male Circumcision
Male circumcision will be a primary focus of Botswana's HIV/AIDS prevention efforts, the Sunday Standard reports. The decision to focus on male circumcision as part of a boost in prevention efforts was announced at the annual planning conference of the African Comprehensive HIV/AIDS Partnerships, which was held recently in Francistown. Presenters at the conference -- themed "Refocusing HIV Prevention: Using Evidence to Inform Future Programming" -- agreed that Botswana must focus on prevention, as well as treatment, care, behavior change and HIV testing. The conference marked the close of Botswana's national strategic HIV/AIDS framework for 2003 to 2009 and brought the country into a new national strategic framework through 2016, the Standard reports.
Mabel Kejelepula, a representative of the HIV/AIDS prevention and care department at the Ministry of Health, said that the department already has begun developing strategies to increase male circumcision and made negotiations with medical providers and physicians. The health ministry also is aiming to find partners to share the costs of a circumcision program, the Standard reports. An unnamed private physician in Francistown said, "In the face of conclusive evidence that uncircumcised men are at a much greater risk of becoming infected with HIV, it should be conclusive that male circumcision should be seriously considered as an additional means of preventing HIV."
Although research shows few men have been circumcised in Botswana, it is an accepted practice throughout the country (Ganetsang, Sunday Standard, 11/5).