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Botswana HIV infection among circumcised men “rises”


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The rate of HIV infection has hit Malawi with a vengeance, witnessing an upsurge in the number of circumcised men infected by the virus which causes AIDS, a senior health official in the country has warned. Dr Motlalepula Powe, the Superintendant of the Deborah Retief Memorial Hospital based in Mochudi village, 30 kilometres from the capital Gaborone told an emergency meeting called to discuss the situation with councilors on Thursday that an upsurge in HIV cases among circumcised men has been observed with bewildering details.

The latest revelation by Powe comes as Botswana officially declared it was encouraging the practice of male circumcision as a way of curtailing the rate of HIV infections prevalent in the country.

Superintendent Powe said it has been noticed that the number of patients who test negative before circumcision and positive after the operation has gone up noticeably, provoking questions about the nature of the exercise which was previously reputed to be safe.

She appealed to circumcised men to continue condomising their sexual activities to reduce new the chance of being infected.

“Circumcised men should still use condoms even if their chances of infection have been reduced by circumcision,” Powe emphasized.

Botswana’s Ministry of Health officials are yet to react to the latest development which calls into question their nationwide campaign encouraging men to be circumcised as a way of protecting themselves from the virus.

The Southern African country last year witnessed one of the most severe HIV/AIDS epidemics in the world with the national prevalence rate for adults ages 15 to 49 at 24.8 percent, the second highest behind Swaziland globally.

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