You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘Circumcision’ tag.

Interestingly enough the circumcision issue brings up a lot of debate – people feel very strongly on the issue. But the problem with – and therefore what is great about – the internet is that it’s free range for people to voice their opinions. Some opinions also hurl abuse, while others are informative. It’s almost like people forgot their social manners when it comes to online space. I had someone comment on one of my posts – saying my stance on circumcision was irresponsible. I have allowed other comments of people who are opposed to my view because it’s informative – we should have a space to discuss issues – and they weren’t plain rude and offensive – and since it is my blog, I decided to have my own rules – freedom of speech that isn’t obnoxious.
I think I was also slightly peeved because I don’t write these blogs just for fun. Yes some may be humorous, but actually this issue is very real for me. Being from a country where approximately 16% of the population is HIV+ (down from 20%), I know enough people, including my own relatives who have lost their lives as a result of this virus, and many more, some extremely close to me who are still living with the virus. I don’t want to lose anyone else, even if it is inevitable for those already infected, but there is nothing worse than losing a loved one to a disease like this. Or any terminal disease I suppose.
So when I’m sharing these thoughts on what the top health bodies are suggesting are key to stemming the spread of HIV, I’m not doing it as joke, but hoping to share opinions on it and understand the issue, and hearing both sides of the debate helps this.
I don’t know if the person who chose to send the comment has ever lost someone to HIV or if perhaps he is living with the virus himself, but I think not having discussions on different aspects relating to HIV and AIDS is irresponsible. I think not talking about the realities of HIV, whether you’re infected or affected, is irresponsible. However, if he thinks that my comment about men getting circumcised if that means they won’t have to use condoms means that a whole bunch of men will go out and get circumcised, well then he clearly thinks I have more influence than even I could have imagined! (And clearly it would be a whole bunch of people who can’t really read because I’d already said that even if a man is circumcised he’d still have to use a condom. Sigh)
My point is that these blogs are my thoughts on the issue, that I want to share, because I care too much about this issue to sit here not doing all that I can do, and if that makes me irresponsible, I guess I’m happy to wear the title.

I know I’ve touched on this before but it really is such a big issue in the world of HIV prevention that I have to address it again. But this time from a woman’s perspective.
They do say to get men to do anything you’ve got to get them to believe that woman prefer that specific behaviour change – which I suppose makes sense (though I’ve never managed to convince any of my ex partners to clean up after themselves – it never sounded at all sexy I suppose).
But I’ve pondered this point – relating to circumcision – and even asked a few of my girlfriends – I’m not really big on promoting something I don’t actually subscribe to.
I come from a country where circumcision isn’t the norm, but do know people from other tribes and other countries where it is the norm. And this isn’t the first time women have discussed the whole circumcised, not circumcised thing, it’s a debate that has been raging on for years. Some women don’t care – especially those who have largely only had uncircumcised men, or have never been with a circumcised man. But those who have, they swear by them, insist there is nothing better.
I don’t sit on the fence on this one, I know exactly where I stand – and not just because of the seemingly well documented facts that circumcision is a step in the right direction for prevention.
A study in Uganda found an overwhelming majority of the 455 women surveyed stating that sex was equally, if not more so, satisfying after their partners were circumcised. That doesn’t surprise me either. I know more than a handful of women who after being with circumcised men have never looked back, and even just for the aesthetics – let’s face it, it’s a lot prettier to look at when it’s circumcised.
However, I have yet to find an uncircumcised man willing to get circumcised just because I said I preferred it. Either way, the condom still has to stay on and I still see that as being a big barrier. Tell men that if they get circumcised they don’t have to use a condom – that’s when you’ll see the queues at the local health centers going on for miles (obviously defeating the point though…).

the super secret trailer for the new drama we’re producing for africa. shot on location in Nairobi – i serve as an executive producer on it. it premieres on the 11th of November!

the buzz word of the moment.  circumcision.  ok, so if you thought convincing people to use condoms each and every time they have sex was hard, what more trying to convince men (men!) to have their foreskin removed, and they still have to use condoms anyway – after all, circumcision is not an invisible condom.  So – as i’ve been trying to get my head around this for awhile – we’re basically asking grown men to do this but still use condoms and cut their risk of HIV infection by 60%?  Now, obviously, as i’ve stated already, i’m not an expert, but i’m not convinced this is an easy sell.

from a woman’s point of view, i’m all for circumcised men – i think they’re great!  but i’ll leave it at that, least one of my parents decides to read my blog.  so maybe using the age old tactic of the sexual benefits of circumcision might be the unique selling point for this ‘product’ – and it does make putting on a condom slightly easier.

i have to admit, i’m interested in seeing how this plays out.  the good thing is the younger generation might be getting the message – my friend’s son, who’s about eight, said he wants to be circumcised so that he won’t get HIV.