Kenyan Government Adopts Male Circumcision as a Standard HIV Prevention Strategy
April 11, 2008
The Kenyan government has issued a new policy to adopt male circumcision as a standard HIV prevention strategy, Kenya's Nation reports. The Policy on Male Circumcision in Kenya 2008 calls for the procedure to be provided to all willing males. The decision to adopt circumcision as an HIV intervention follows studies showing that male circumcision can significantly lower risk for HIV, the Nation reports.
According to the Nation, facilities from the dispensary to the district hospital levels are to be strengthened to handle the increased demand for the procedure. In addition, those implementing the policy will be required to establish laws and supervisory mechanisms that make circumcision services safely accessible without being discriminatory, the Nation reports.
According to the Nation, the policy calls on the Ministry of Health to "strengthen health systems to ensure that male circumcision programs do not interrupt or divert resources from other primary health care services." According to the Nation, the health ministry will have to integrate the management of reproductive, sexual health and HIV prevention programs to provide male circumcision services.
In addition, a male circumcision task force is expected to help guide the circumcision efforts. The proposed task force will help:
Ruth Njeri, an HIV/AIDS advocate, said she fears the new policy might make circumcised men have unprotected sex and think they are safe. "Men who have been using condoms or those who have been faithful to their spouses will now opt for unprotected sex," Njeri said. Alloys Orago, director of the National AIDS Control Council, said, "What we are trying to pass across is that a circumcised man who either uses a condom or is faithful to his partner has a reduced risk of HIV infection" (Okwemba, Nation, 4/10).
This article was provided by Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. It is a part of the publication Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report. Visit the Kaiser Family Foundation's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.