To Cut and Run: Donor Approaches to Male Circumcision in Southern Africa

by Krista Johnson


Male circumcision is being heralded in the scientific and policy communities as a highly effective intervention that could significantly reduce the number of people being infected with HIV in a number of high prevalence countries in southern Africa. However, the scale-up of male circumcision in most southern African countries has been slow. This article discusses the rollout of medical male circumcision as an HIV prevention strategy in southern Africa, and it highlights the limitations of Western-inspired approaches to HIV prevention. Through a brief history of male circumcision in southern Africa and an analysis of donor-recipient relations, it looks at the cultural and institutional features that have created resistance to the message and inhibited effective implementation.

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Krista Johnson