The number of Zimbabwean men who underwent voluntary medical male circumcision (VMMC) in 2021 increased by about 80 per cent compared to 2020.
According to the National Aids Council (NAC), 151 037 men were circumcised in 2021 up from 82 060 in 2020.
Presenting 2021 HIV estimates in Harare on Monday last week, NAC monitoring and evaluation director Amon Mpofu said the number of males who were circumcised in 2020 and 2021 was low due to COVID-19 restrictions. Said Mpofu:
Male circumcision prevalence for 15-49 years remains at 25 and implementation of VMMC was affected by the COVID-19 pandemic hence low numbers for 2020 and 2021.
However, in 2021 figures went up to 151 037 from 82 060 the lowest yearly figure recorded since we started rolling out circumcision.
Mpofu said Matabeleland North, Matabeleland South, Midlands and Masvingo have the highest rates of VMMC compared to other provinces.
Medical male circumcision is the surgical removal of the foreskin of the penis, by a trained healthcare professional or doctor.
According to a report, studies from 2006 showed that it reduces a man’s risk of acquiring HIV from a female partner by up to 60 per cent, increasing to around 75 per cent over time.