I've already posted on how American money is being spent to promote male circumcision as HIV prevention in Africa via PEPFAR:
And I've already posted on how the promotion of circumcision is sending conflicting messages, making the situation worse:
Of particular interest is the Soka Uncobe, or "circumcise and conquer" campaign, which aims to circumcise over 80% of the male population in Swaziland. I also posted an article on how the campaign was already turning out to be disaster, as it was percieved to send the message that circumcision made you a "conqueror" of women, and that once you were circumcised you "conquered" HIV.
The campaign to circumcise 80% of Swazi men was launched in spite of the fact that earlier studies had shown HIV to be prevalent among CIRCUMCISED men:
"As Table 14.10 shows, the relationship between HIV prevalence and circumcision status is not in the expected direction. Circumcised men have a slightly higher HIV infection rate than men who are not circumcised (22 percent compared with 20 percent)".
However, it looks as though Swazi men aren't as gullible as people behind PEPFAR had hoped.
"The ambitious, US-funded campaign hopes to reach one in eight Swazi men, but has had disappointing results so far.
The clinic performing Mfanzile’s procedure is geared to see 80 patients a day. At best 15 trickle in - fewer than even before the campaign began in February.
Adverts urging men to “circumcise and conquer” are everywhere but organisers now admit they may not reach their targets as quickly as hoped."
Do American circumcision advocates really think African men are simply that stupid?
The article continues:
"Most of the time in Swaziland, men are the decision makers. Men must be in the forefront of this battle,” said Health Minister Benedict Xaba. “It takes time for a Swazi person to accept something new; to accept change."
Or perhaps the men of Swaziland are not as dumb as they look.
The so-called "studies" have numerous flaws that bring their credibility into question, not to mention that their conclusions don't correlate with real world empirical data:
But assuming the studies were 100% accurate, circumcision would still fail as an HIV prevention method. Circumcision is so ineffective at preventing HIV transmission that even the very authors of these studies cannot stress the use of condoms enough.
Conductors of these "mass circumcision campaigns" have the double burden of trying to convince men to undergo circumcision, AND, to make sure that they know that once they're circumcised, they'd still have to wear condoms.
But once a man has learened that all he has to do is wear a condom, why would he EVER choose to become circumcised? If he chooses circumcision, isn't that a sign that he DOESN'T really understand?
Some men have chosen to undergo circumcision. But what were they actually told? What did they understand circumcision would to for them? Were they told the truth? Or were they told whatever circumcision promoters needed to tell them in order to secure more numbers for their 80% quota?
Whatever they're telling them, it looks like not all of them are buying it. It's heartening to know that in spite of all the money, lies and deception being hurled at these African men, most have the good sense to know better.
I only feel sorry for those who were ensnared by the American mutilation machine. What must go through the minds of those who go to a clinic and find out they were infected with HIV anyway, despite having gone through radical genital surgery?
What's next for them? Expensive ARTs for the rest of their lives? And the lives of their partners?
Is this what "researchers" mean by "cost-effective?"
These "mass circumcision" campaigns are an insult to the people of Africa, and the American taxpayer. What harrassment and abject humiliation to be reeled in by nifty slogans, music and other propaganda to be told you have to both be circumcised AND have to wear condoms.
I hope this serves as a lesson to PEPFAR and others funding these abominable campaigns:
Money and propaganda can only take you so far; not everyone is as dumb as you think.
Most anybody with a brain should be able to figure out that you don't need circumcision if you wear a condom. If men are choosing to get circumcised then there is a problem; they're either not fully understanding, or circumcision promoters are deliberately LYING to them.
This IS going to come back and haunt us in the future.