A project to circumcise 1.5 million South Sudanese men aged from 15 to 49 has been launched in the country in order to reduce the prevalence of HIV. Research has shown that circumcised men are at a much lower risk of contracting HIV than uncircumcised men when having heterosexual sex with someone who is HIV-positive.
The NGO Human Appeal Associates, in partnership with the health ministry, will be looking for volunteers over the next five years. Circumcision is only practiced in three of the country’s 10 regional states, outside of those areas it is a taboo subject.
The government has described the low circumcision rates as a major public health concern when it comes to dealing with HIV. “The demand for circumcision in the capital, Juba, alone is very, very high,” Robert Matthew Uku, from Human Appeal Associates, told the BBC.
“Nearly 100 males – including 25 adults – were circumcised over the weekend.” About 2.3% of 15–49-year-olds in South Sudan are thought to be HIV-positive, UNAids says.