Thursday, May 7, 2009

Another slice of life from southern Africa

Quite literally, a slice that offers hope of life: Botswana to circumcise half a million men in Aids fight.
The southern African country, which has one of the world's highest HIV infection rates, plans to circumcise 460,000 men over the next five years, after a series of studies found that circumcised men were two to three times less likely to contract HIV than uncircumcised men.

"For the public health benefits of the preventive effect of circumcision to be realised, the Ministry of Health is supposed to cover 80 per cent of eligible males in Botswana," said Janet Mwambona, a public health specialist in charge of the project.

Botswana has already benefited from the introduction of anti-retroviral drugs. Botswana's HIV prevalence among pregnant women between the ages of 15 and 24 has stayed between 35 and 37 per cent since 2001. The rate among older pregnant women was 43 per cent in 2003.

Through this latest campaign, Botswana expects to cut that rate further.

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