MARONDERA district has recorded an increase in the Voluntary Medical Male Circumcision (VMMC) figures this year with officials attributing the rise to door-to-door campaigns as well as massive awareness on HIV and Aids.
by JAIROS SAUNYAMA
According to Marondera district Aids co-ordinator Sebastian Manjengwa, about 3 445 males went under the knife between January and September this year as compared to 3 165 who got circumcised over the same period last year.
“The increase in the number of males getting circumcised is attributed to demand generation activities through National Aids Trust Funds like road shows, HIV and Aids musical galas coupled with service provisions in the likes of HIV testing services, VMMC and sexually transmitted infections screening, among others.
“The other contributing factor is the door-to-door visits by behaviour change facilitators and during the process, thousands are exposed to HIV and Aids information. The Ministry of Health and Child Care has two static sites and to boost the VMMC figure outreach, a number of activities were also introduced from the two sites and Population Services International has been supporting the programme to a greater extent, hence the achievement,” he said.
Marondera district tops in the HIV prevalence rate in Mashonaland East province followed by Murewa.
Marondera district’s HIV prevalence rate according to the National Aids Council, stands at 17%. NAC has declared Marondera a hotspot and has confirmed that the HIV prevalence rate is high as a result of a decline of farming activities around the area. The circumcision programme was rolled out in 2009 as part of a cocktail of responses to HIV and Aids as it is believed to minimise the chances of contracting HIV by 60%
Research has shown that although some men have embraced the initiative, others were still resisting due to fear of the unknown.