Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini, left, shown here in 2008, recently endorsed… (Associated Press )
JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA -- The province of Kwa Zulu Natal, which has among the highest rate of HIV infections in South Africa, will offer circumcision to prisoners in a bid to stop the transmission of the virus in jails.
Recent HIV testing in the province indicated that of 710,000 people tested for the virus, more than 150,000 were infected. A campaign on HIV aims to test 15 million South Africans, around a third of he population, by next June.
The provincial government’s head of health, Dr. Sinbongiseni Dhlomo, said more than 10,000 men had been circumcised in the province since a campaign to increase circumcisions began in April.
The province is a stronghold of the Zulu tribe, which traditionally hasn’t practiced circumcision for many years, however Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini, recently endorsed a return to circumcision to combat the spread of HIV and AIDS.
The provincial health department aims to circumcise 2.5 million men by June 2014, after research suggested circumcision significantly reduces the likelihood of transmission of the virus.