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Men have a role in PMTCT: SafAids

Zimbabwean men have been urged to support their spouses in the implementation of Prevention from Mother To Child Transmission (PMTCT), which is still lagging behind other programmes on HIV and Aids.

Report by Phyllis Mbanje

Male involvement in the programme has always been an issue since the introduction of the programmme, as most men continue to shun it and leave it for women to deal with alone.

SAfAids programmes manager, Dominica Dhakwa recently called on men to support their spouses in ensuring that the programme became a success.

Speaking at a workshop recently, Dhakwa said men were still not participating as they should and this had slowed down the programme.

Past research findings have revealed that stigma continues to affect mostly men who are still not fully involved in PMTCT programmes and yet the success of the strategy is rooted on combined efforts from both men and women.

SafAids is currently implementing a five-year national programme to help eliminate new infections in children and improve the survival of mothers.

Meanwhile, media personnel have been urged to advocate for male circumcision in eradicating new HIV infections.

This was said at another workshop in Chinhoyi by the Ministry of Health’s advocacy and communications officer, Brian Nachipo.

He said last year only 40 755 males were circumcised, against an expected annual target of 100 000 males. He said if 80% of men were circumcised by 2015, the country could save US$2,9 billion by 2025 and would have averted 600 000 new infections.

One Response to Men have a role in PMTCT: SafAids

  1. Hugh7 April 29, 2013 at 12:29 am #

    These large numbers of HIV infections “prevented by circumcision” are just made up. The only fact is that less than two years after circumcising a total of 5,400 men, 64 of them had HIV, 73 fewer than a control group of men told to wait. The whole campaign is based on that. Since contacts were not traced, they have no idea if the men were even infected (hetero)sexually. Three and a half times as many men dropped out of the trials – their HIV status unknown – as were known to be infected, so it’s quite possible that circumcising men doesn’t protect them at all. We know it doesn’t protect women, and one study started to show that it could INcrease the risk to them, but that was cut short before it could be confirmed.

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