More men show confidence in public health facilities

Patricia Mokoena

More than 50 000 men have shown confidence in public health facilities across the province by performing Medical Male Circumcision (MMC) between April and June 2019.

During this period, 50 267 men performed circumcision. This is a double increase as compared to 21 876 performed during the same period in 2018.

With festive season upon us, the Gauteng Department of Health encourages men to act responsibly and protect themselves as well as their partners against sexually transmitted infections by visiting local health facilities for circumcision.

MMC is a full removal of the foreskin, fully exposing the head of the penis, improves your hygiene as it is easier to keep the head of the penis clean. It reduces your risk of contracting sexually transmitted infections (STIs) such as HIV, chancroid, syphilis, genital warts, herpes and HIV by removing certain cells within the foreskin that act as an entry point for HIV.

Circumcision also lowers the risk of penile cancer and also reduces your partner’s risk of cervical cancer.

“This service which is available at community health centres and district hospitals around the province also includes counselling and testing for HIV. If you test HIV positive you may still get medically circumcised depending on the doctor’s recommendation”, said Nowinile Dube, MMC programme Manager.

Counselling and Testing for HIV is confidential. You will also be examined for sexually transmitted infections and foreskin abnormalities.

You can get medically circumcised at any time throughout the year. Medical Male Circumcisions can be performed safely at any time of the year

Once circumcised, it is recommended that you allow a healing process of up to six weeks before engaging in sexual activities or masturbating. If you do, the wound will take longer to heal completely – and you may run a higher risk of being infected with HIV if you have unprotected sex.

For the first few days after the procedure, the bandage must be kept on and the wound should be dry. The stitches will fall out between 10 to 14 days. Should you have any concerns, visit your nearest clinic or doctor immediately.

“Circumcision should not at any time be used as an alternative for condom use. You should still use a condom every time you have sex and stick to one sexual partner”, concluded Dube.

Source: Gauteng Province