Circumcising Babies ‘Would Be Acceptable’

June 14, 2017

This blog post, written by Zizo Zikali, first appeared on What’sUpHIV as part of a series covering the 8th South African AIDS Conference.

The department of health in partnership with USAID and The Centre for HIV and AIDS Prevention Studies (CHAPS) are working together to fight the HIV/AIDS epidemic by developing a safe and sustainable service delivery model for early infant male circumcision in South Africa.

Chief executive officer of CHAPS Dirk Taljaard said CHAPS conducted a study examining the feasibility of early infant male circumcision in Soweto and Orange farm in Johannesburg, Gauteng. Nearly 70 percent of 304 urban mothers and 142 fathers showed interest of circumcising their sons before they were six weeks old.

“The study concluded that early infant male circumcision would be acceptable in the country; despite the pull of traditional circumcision during adolescence among certain ethnic groups. However, there should still be discussions at national, provincial, district and local level as soon as possible.”

There was some dissent. Siyabonga Zulu, a 34-year-old man from Umlazi, south of Durban, believes that circumcising a minor would be violating their rights. He believed a child should be circumcised only when he has reached an age when he could decide for himself whether to opt for medical or traditional circumcision.