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Zimbabwean MPs Raise AIDS Awareness By Getting Circumcised

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It has been suggested Robert Mugabe may attend the circumcision event | AP

A team of Zimbabwean MPs are getting circumcised as part of a campaign to reduce AIDS and HIV cases.

A small makeshift clinic has been set up in Harare’s Parliament House and by midday today local time, four MPs had had the operation, the BBC reported.

More than 100 parliamentarians involved have also undergone voluntary counselling and HIV testing as part of an effort to encourage the public to do the same.

Blessing Chebundo, chairman of Zimbabwe Parliamentarians on HIV (ZIPAH) told the Zimbabwe Mail: “As legislators we want to lead by example and be hands on when it comes to issues to do with HIV and AIDS.”

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He was the first to undergo the procedure and told the BBC some members of the executive would possibly attend the event, including President Robert Mugabe.

Ministry of Health and Child Welfare Director for AIDS and TB Unit Dr Owen Mugurungi applauded the move. He said: “We are happy with this initiative and we are happy more leaders will come on board.”

According to Unicef figures from 2009, more than 14 per cent of the adult population in Zimbabwe have HIV/Aids.

Circumcision can reduce the risk of HIV infection through vaginal intercourse in heterosexual men by up to 60%, the National Aids Trust says.

The World Health Organisation and UNAIDS recommend circumcision be included as an element in HIV prevention programmes.

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Zimbabwe lawmakers get circumcised in AIDS fight