Thursday, July 21, 2011


Swaziland’s King Mswati III has told his male subjects that they must get circumcised in order to defeat what he called the HIV ‘terrorist’.

Apart from the fact that it demonstrates to us all that the king has no understanding of what the word ‘terrorist’ means, it shows also that he knows nothing about how to prevent the spread of HIV.

Circumcision doesn’t prevent the ‘spread’ of HIV, responsible sexual behaviour does. Wearing a condom will stop you passing on (or getting) HIV, cutting off your foreskin will not.

Has King Mswati himself been circumcised? If he wants his male subjects to have themselves mutilated he ought to at least have his own penis hacked about.

I look forward to the King’s organ the Swazi Observer giving us the definitive answer to my question. Photography is optional.

I have written a lot on this blog about the lies behind circumcision and HIV, but I have never before drawn your attention to this blogsite (and associated Facebook page).

Joseph4GI (Joseph for Genital Integrity) is against genital cutting and has been commenting on the campaign to get Swazi men to have the snip. He reports that Swazi men are ‘Not As Dumb As American Circumcision Advocates Had Hoped’.

Here is one of his blogposts. There is also a Facebook site called You Can Conquer Without Circumcision: Say NO to "Soka Uncobe"

Swazi Men Not As Dumb As American Circumcision Advocates Had Hoped

I've already posted on how American money is being spent to promote male circumcision as HIV prevention in Africa via PEPFAR: [President’s Emergency Program For Aids Relief]

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 learned 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 harassment 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.

See also


Swazi King: "Better You Than Me"

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