Israeli Doctors Provide Male Circumcision To Prevent Spread Of HIV

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Teams of Israeli surgeons have begun providing male circumcision in Swaziland in an effort to prevent the spread of HIV, the Washington Postreports. Health officials in Swaziland, which has fewer than 100doctors and the world's highest HIV prevalence, say that over the nextfive years, they hope to offer the procedure to 200,000 sexually activemen at a rate of roughly 200 daily -- 20 times faster than the currentpace. According to the Post, six Israeli doctors are scheduled to work for two weeks in Swaziland this year under a program organized by the Jerusalem AIDS Project and underwritten by the U.S.-based Jewish organization Hadassah and other donors.

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TheIsraeli doctors primarily are expected to train Swazi doctors on how toperform circumcision among adult men. However, many Swazi doctorsalready know how to perform the surgery. According to some Swazidoctors, what they primarily need from the Israeli doctors are "extrahands to help get enough done to impact the epidemic," the Postreports. The demand for circumcision -- especially surgeries that areno cost or subsidized -- appears to "far outstrip supply in Swaziland,"according to the Post. The health system "routinely runslow" on basic medical supplies -- such as sutures, gloves, dressingsand surgical tools -- the Post reports. In addition, there is a "major constraint" on surgeons and doctors, Dudu Simelane -- executive director of the Family Life Association of Swaziland, a nongovernmental group hosting the Israeli doctors -- said.

SomeSwazi surgeons have shown that they can each perform 10 circumcisionprocedures -- which take about 25 minutes -- daily during the country'soccasional series of "Circumcision Saturday" events, the Postreports. According to medical experts, it would take four doctors ateach of five separate facilities to perform 1,000 circumcisions weeklyif Swazi doctors can maintain that speed every weekday (Timberg, Washington Post, 10/21).

Reprinted with permission from kaisernetwork.org. You can view theentire Kaiser DailyHIV/AIDS Report, search the archives, and sign up for email delivery at kaisernetwork.org/email . TheKaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report is published for kaisernetwork.org, a free service ofThe Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation.

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