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Those who use condoms correctly and consistently please stand up

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There is a lot of hype about the male circumcision issue. It is being hailed as the answer to the HIV/AIDS pandemic. Is it? I do not think so. On what assumptions is the success of the male circumcision program being based on?

Are those pushing the program assuming that an alarming number of men do not use condoms to begin with? Because if they believe that condoms are being used consistently and correctly, then there is no need to be trying to replace or ‘compliment’ something that has got a 99% chance of preventing infection with something with a 60% chance.

My opinion is that the male circumcision program will actually increase the rate of infection: When it comes to sexual matters, the human brain is feeble at best of times. The logic will be why wear a condom if I have just had a procedure that’s supposed to reduce my chances of getting infected. If it is insisted that one were a condom even after being circumcised, then what’s the point in being circumcised.

So we can only say male circumcision is a worthwhile intervention if we assume that a large number of men do not use condoms. Those who use condoms do not use them correctly and consistently:  Say a man is spending the whole night with a woman; he will wear a condom the first time around and remove it when he is done.  If he feels like having another he might wear another condom if she insists. But does he wear another condom if he wants to have another go at midnight, I don’t think so. And if he has been sleeping with the woman for a week?

Those who use condoms correctly and consistently please stand up.

What about the young man who has been dying to sleep with a beautiful local girl for months. A chance presents itself and there are no condoms around. Does he dash off to the shops fro a packet of condoms? And risk her changing her mind?

We have to admit that a lot of men are not using condoms or at least not correctly and no amount of shouting will ever change that. So male circumcision might save a few of them; after all 60% is better than 0%, trying to sell condoms and male circumcision at the same time sounds absurd to me.

We can only hope that the male circumcision program will not convince the few who were using condoms to stop using them altogether: Honestly, how many will actually think of the percentages? The message that a shocking number of men – and women will get, is that male circumcision prevents HIV infection and the proponents of the dubiously noble initiative do not intend that to the message. And HIV/AIDS messages should not be mind-boggling, like the one that says that people should use both contraceptive pill and the condom. The contraceptive pill is for married couples, Period! Asking a married couple to use condoms is expecting too much.

I hope the male circumcision program achieves its desired goals, whatever they are. Honestly it’s all a bit vague in my mind.

5 comments to “Those who use condoms correctly and consistently please stand up”

  1. Comment by Caroline:

    Thank you for such an enlighter. I have always had reservations abt the mc issue. Now what they found another way to protect Male from getting infected, what will protect Female incase the Mlae is not mc and doesnt want to condomise. Take for instatence a married affrican women. Condomisation in marriage is still a dream now that mc is only done on man if he refuses both and am married to him were does that leaves me. i strongly believe much thought should be put on women ways, or is this a man `s world. Man do not care howthey have it, which might be the root off all this. If man were so eager to protect themsleves we wouldnt be were we are in Aids related statistics so I think the world should focus on the female part on how they can protect themselves. In ways that they have contorl on. Better ways than putting a condom on someone else. or checking first if they are mc. Is this the end of the reserchers brains. Please pple u can do better.

  2. Comment by Agnes Richard F Pfende:

    I suggest that condoms should be used despite the male circumcision. I say VIVA to all those who love to use condoms. Pliz CONDOMIZE…………….!

  3. Comment by LLOYD MACHACHA:

    Whether circumcised or not, condoms should be used consistently and correctly all the time. on top of that its important to know each other’s HIV status because condoms are not 100% safe: a condom can have pores that eyes can’t see, or it can burst during intercourse. Suppose it bursts during intercourse and you don’t know each other’s HIV status. Doesn’t that scare you?

  4. Comment by Nigel:

    I made a short promo video for PSI’s MC program at Harare Hospital last year http://www.youtube.com/granadillafilms#p/u/4/rT8-wSGyc0Y. All the young men who are circumcised are referred by a New Start counselling centre and are all HIV-. There are intensive group and one-on-one counselling sessions before and after the MC procedure to drum it home that MC alone is not going to prevent HIV transmission and that it is still imperative to use condoms during sex. I sincerely hope that this program helps to reduce HIV infections, but we will only know whether it is working or not after some years of the program being in place. I do think that anything that can help fight the battle against HIV/AIDS is worth a try.

  5. Comment by Tally:

    This does not make sense. If you are uncircumcised, you need to wear a condom. If you are circumcised, you need to wear a condom. If you need to wear condom regardless, why get cut? I would prefer to stay uncircumcised with a sensitive penis than be cut.