Motsoaledi urges politicians to get circumcised

Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi on Tuesday called on politicians to lead by example and get circumcised.

"Medical male circumcision services are also available for those who want access to this service and honourable members, those who need to do it and [have] not yet done it, we are inviting them, and I can also help you because I'm involved in that sector also," Motsoaledi told the National Assembly.

He was speaking after the launch of the HIV, counselling and testing (HCT) campaign in Parliament.

The politicians joined over 18 000 South Africans who have been tested since President Jacob Zuma launched the HCT campaign in April 2010.

Motsoaledi had been calling for politicians and other powerful individuals to lead by example by undergoing the tests, hopefully prompting other South Africans to do the same.

"It gives me great pleasure to be here today at this extremely powerful place in the country to launch the HCT campaign for members of Parliament of the Republic of South Africa as well as all who work here," he said.

Medical male circumcision campaign
It emerged Zuma would re-launch the campaign on World Aids Day on December 1 at the Gert Sibande district in Mpumalanga, the area with the country's highest HIV prevalence rate.

At the same time, a medical male circumcision campaign would be announced.

"Medical male circumcision is a critical strategy to decrease the HIV/Aids pandemic as demonstrated by the number of clinical trials in South Africa and other countries on the continent," Motsoaledi said.

If MPs and other prominent individuals did annual HIV tests and underwent medical male circumcision, it would contribute to the reduction of the stigma and discrimination attached to the pandemic, he said.

"Every South African should test annually … regardless of age, regardless of your status or your station in life," he said.

"Today's event will contribute significantly towards the scaling up of HCT in the country by showing everyone that there's strong political leadership in the country that supports the war against HIV and Aids." – Sapa

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever. But it comes at a cost. Advertisers are cancelling campaigns, and our live events have come to an abrupt halt. Our income has been slashed.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years. We’ve survived thanks to the support of our readers, we will need you to help us get through this.

To help us ensure another 35 future years of fiercely independent journalism, please subscribe.

Guest Author
Bhekisisa team
Bhekisisa Team
Health features and news from across Africa by Bhekisisa, the Mail & Guardian's health journalism centre.

‘Frustrated’ police resort to force

Regulation uncertainty leaves slap-happy police and soldiers to decide when people should or shouldn’t be allowed on the streets

Mail & Guardian needs your help

Our job is to help give you the information we all need to participate in building this country, while holding those in power to account. But now the power to help us keep doing that is in your hands

Press Releases

New energy mix on the cards

REI4P already has and will continue to yield thousands of employment opportunities

The online value of executive education in a Covid-19 world

Executive education courses further develop the skills of leaders in the workplace

Sisa Ntshona urges everyone to stay home, and consider travelling later

Sisa Ntshona has urged everyone to limit their movements in line with government’s request

SAB Zenzele’s special AGM postponed until further notice

An arrangement has been announced for shareholders and retailers to receive a 77.5% cash payout

20th Edition of the National Teaching Awards

Teachers are seldom recognised but they are indispensable to the country's education system

Awards affirm the vital work that teachers do

Government is committed to empowering South Africa’s teachers with skills, knowledge and techniques for a changing world

SAB Zenzele special AGM rescheduled to March 25 2020

New voting arrangements are being made to safeguard the health of shareholders