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As of last week, 2,105 boys and men were circumcised during the first nine days of a three-week male circumcision campaign in Tanzania’s Shinyanga region. Male circumcision services, which are part of an IntraHealth International-led HIV prevention effort, started in late November 2010 and have now reached 2,795 boys and men out of the 25,000 the project aims to reach by September 2011.
Circumcision can reduce a man’s risk of being infected with HIV by a female partner by as much as 60%, according to the World Health Organization. Among the most recent group of Tanzanian boys and men circumcised—most between the ages of 15 and 25—eight experienced minor adverse affects following the procedure, but within a week were treated and doing well. All of the clients were offered HIV counseling and testing as a part of the program, and fewer than 2% were living with HIV.
The campaign took place in three of the five sites it was initially planned for and where there was high demand from the community—Muungano Health Center, the village office in Dutaw, and Ngulyati Health Center. “We did not want to keep clients waiting for a long time,” explained Lucy Mphuru, director of IntraHealth’s Provider-Initiated Testing and Counseling Project. “We will cover the remaining two sites in March.”
In collaboration with Jhpiego, the project has also trained a total of 36 health workers to perform male circumcision for HIV prevention.
The Provider-Initiated Testing and Counseling Project is funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and led by IntraHealth International.