Zimbabwe MPs get circumcised


More than 40 male Zimbabwean MPs  volunteered to be circumcised today as part of a campaign to boost Aids awareness in the southern African country. 

Lovemore Moyo, the speaker of parliament, said at a ceremony in Harare to mark the start of the programme that politicians ors are "leading by example" in getting tested for HIV and being circumcised.

Zimbabwe has an adult infection rate for HIV of about 15 per cent, according to the National Aids Council, a state agency.

A circumcision program in South Africa found the procedure reduced the rate of HIV infections among men who had it done by 76 per cent, according to a study presented at an Aids conference in Rome last year.

"Now I can go out and speak clearly and proudly and urge Zimbabweans that this thing can be done," Blessing Chebundo, an MP from central town of Kwekwe, said. "I am more than 50 years old now and I have done it."

Male circumcision is the surgical removal of a skin that covers the tip of the penis. Studies have shown the pocket between the foreskin and the tip of the penis gives viruses and bacteria a area to grow.

The foreskin has been shown to be rich in cells that carry HIV into the body.