KIGALI - The National AIDS Control Commission has set a target of having at least 2 million men circumcised by the year 2012, as a way of curbing the transmission of HIV/AIDS.
The move came after the government supported the idea of mass male circumcision as a way of reducing the spread of HIV and other Sexually Transmitted Diseases, upon recommendation from the World Health Organization, based on research that circumcised men have a 60 percent-risk free chance of not acquiring the virus during sexual intercourse.
Dr. Anita Asiimwe, the Executive Secretary of CNLS, said during an interview, Thursday, that her office has the strategy in place.
“We have already developed a male catch-up plan that will enable us reach the target by the end of June in 2012, but this does not mean that when you are circumcised you don’t contract the virus, the chances just go down,” said Assimwe.
She said that some of the methods they intend to use include ensuring that every health clinic is in position to sensitize the male community on the importance of circumcision.
“Most of the medical officers from various hospitals countrywide have been trained to conduct mass circumcision,” she added.
Assimwe said that the campaign will put much more emphasis on encouraging men to do it, since it remains a challenge to change the mindset of the elderly community.
According to the medical officials, circumcising a child between one day and one month of age is the easiest because the wound heals within 3-4 days.
Asiimwe revealed that according to a Demographic Health Survey, only15 percent of the men interviewed (aged 15-49) were circumcised.