Mandatory male circumcision of inmates: a solution to HIV infections in prisons, Part 2


One of the Prisons in Zambia

By Mutinta Moono Hanyama

Last year I talked about the distribution of condoms in prisons as one way of protecting the lives of inmates against HIV/AIDS. I did indicate that this issue was obviously going to meet some resistance due to our society norms at present.

Today, I want to talk about male circumcision for inmates, another solution to skyrocketing rates of HIV infections in prisons.

Well, male circumcision does not go well with some people in our society. This is due to a number of reasons, one of which is that it leads to loss of sexual sensation in men. Whether this is true or false is not the purpose of this topic, but to appreciate the role of male circumcision in hardening the male genitalia. This makes the skin tough and resilient against developing cracks, or bruises during sexual act. Although some sensation may be lost in the process, inmates stand a chance to benefit from the removal of their tender and soft glans.

Here is one fact: “Sexual activity between male inmates is common, including both consensual sex between adults, and relationships where sex is traded by the most vulnerable in exchange for food, soap, and other basic necessities not provided by the prison. There are also cases of rape between male prisoners. The commonest sexual act is anal sex”, reads the ‘Unjust and Unhealthy’ report done by ARASA.

The report further shows that the infection rate in prisons stands at 27 per cent!

With the above disturbing revelation, mandatory circumcision for inmates can help to reduce chances of HIV infections by a big margin. The removal of the tender and soft glans, which is vulnerable to bruising during anal sex, reduces the chances of inmates infecting each other with HIV/AIDS.

Well, I know Zambia is a Christian nation, and that there is nothing Christian in tolerating male-to-male sex. That act abhors, but unfortunately it is rampant amongst inmates. This is the reason why the suggestion to circumcise them should not be assessed from a Christian standing.

In any case, since Christianity is a virtue in our country, saving lives should be our virtue too. Male circumcision for inmates can be a life saving undertaking!

Am not in any way suggesting the recognition of gay relationships, because that is not moral for in our society, but am thinking that there is a lot society can do to uplift and protect the lives of inmates.

There are more solutions that can be suggested by everyone, and I think mandatory male circumcision of inmates is one of them.