The two best ways that men can ensure their sexual health and protect themselves and their loved ones from STI & HIV is to condomise, and be medically circumcised.
February is STI & Condom month and Western Cape Government Health encourages communities to make more extensive use of the Medical Male Circumcision (MMC) services on offer at public health facilities. Facilities provide patients with safe, clean, and hygienic procedures.
MMC is an important vehicle for sexual and reproductive health. Circumcision offers a lifetime of benefits, including better hygiene, reduced risk of sexually transmitted infections and HIV. It reduces the risk of penile cancer and the partner's risk of cervical cancer.
The procedure is performed by trained health care workers and takes about 30 minutes.
The patient will be discharged from the facility on the day that the procedure is done, but complete healing will take up to six weeks. Medical Male Circumcision is the full removal of the penis foreskin, fully exposing the head of the penis. Medical Male Circumcision (MMC) is performed at a Medical facility by a qualified medical professional.
The person must come back in 48 hours to check if there are no complications.
Parents may also choose to have the procedure done on their male babies/child(ren).
Many cultures and religions only support partial circumcision, but for full health benefits, a medical circumcision is recommended.
Although having the procedure reduces the risk of being infected by HIV and other sexually transmitted Infections (STI), it is still advisable to use contraceptives to prevent unwanted pregnancies and the transmission of HIV and STIs.
Sexually transmitted infections are infectious diseases that you can get by having sexual intercourse or contact with a sexual partner who has an STI.
The procedure can be done even if the man is HIV-positive, but this does not protect his partner from HIV. HIV positive men who choose to be circumcised should continue to use condoms at all times to protect their partners from HIV and themselves, and their partner from re-infection if both are HIV-positive.
Circumcision does not reduce the risk of HIV infection if one engages in anal sex.
All men have the right to safe and hygienic medical male circumcision services.
In some cases, a person may have been circumcised for religious or cultural reasons. Certain religions circumcise their boys soon after birth. Some cultures circumcise their young men as part of an initiation process, that marks the passage from boyhood to manhood. Men who are circumcised for religious or cultural reasons need to make sure that they are fully circumcised, if they are to take advantage of the health benefits.
If you are to get the full health benefits of male circumcision it is important for you to know whether you are:
• Partially circumcised - where only a part of the foreskin has been removed, or a slit has been cut in the foreskin.
• Fully circumcised - where the entire foreskin has been removed.
Circumcised men should still use a condom every time when having sex. Men must keep to one sexual partner and test for HIV to know their status so that they can make the best decision for their health.
Attached is a list of sites where Medical Male Circumcision services are available in the province.