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By STHEMBILE HLATSHWAYO - SWAZI TIMES-11-Sep-2009

As the campaign of encouraging Swazi men to circumcise conducted by the Population Service International (PSI) intensifies, positive results are already coming out.

Although it is taboo to the Swazi community to discuss issues pertaining to sex, PSI had the opportunity to hear a testimony from one of their clients who recently involvement the exercise. The following is a testimony given by a proud Swazi and father of three from Lobamba who underwent the procedure in his early 30s.

Bheki Dlamini* (not his real name) is 38 years old. He is married with three children and says he enjoys three things about life – soccer, spending time with his family and sex. Bheki has been having sex since he was 18 and says his performance has increased over the years as he has become more comfortable with his wife.

Bheki was circumcised purely by chance. When his wife went to hospital to give birth to their second son, Bheki was jokingly advised by his doctor to get circumcised so he and his wife could ‘recover’ together. “He told me that while my wife was healing from the process, I should also get circumcised and we could heal together without any sexual expectations from either party. Being a guy who needs regular sex, I took up his suggestion and before undergoing the process, I learnt that there were other benefits to it,” he said.

Procedure

Bheki said after the procedure, he had to abstain from sex for six weeks, which was not too difficult as his wife was also recovering. He said the first time they made love, he did not notice much of a difference except that he took longer to ejaculate, which is every man’s dream. “Besides the feeling of cleanliness, it gave me, I was also a brand new man and my wife made this observation even before we discussed it. It was like we were meeting for the first time. My self-image improved and my confidence was better. There was no loss of sensation, simply a different feeling ... which I happen to find far, far better and more satisfying,” said Bheki.

Bheki’s three sons are all circumcised and he said had he known the rewards, he would have done it earlier. He said although this was a subject that was not openly discussed in the Swazi society, he would encourage all males to find out more about it because it was certainly beneficial. He said the foreskin on the manhood, is where bacteria and germs hide and thus the feeling of cleanliness after the procedure is one other benefit.

“My wife was very uncomfortable about oral sex before but now she actually offers,” he said. Locally, circumcisions are carried out at private and government health facilities and also at clinics run by NGOs such as FLAS and PSI Swaziland.

PSI Swaziland last weekend conducted a Double Defence campaign at the Trade Fair, where males were encouraged not only to get circumcised but also use condoms after they have undergone the procedure. The organisation noted that while circumcision reduced the risk of HIV infection by about 60 per cent, it was still important for circumcised men to use condoms correctly and consistently in order to double their defence against HIV.

According to a study conducted on nearly 4 500 males published in the January issue of the UK-based urology journal BJU International, more than 98 per cent of men who are circumcised can enjoy the same levels of sexual satisfaction and performance as men who are not. If Bheki’s testimony is not convincing enough, then this scientific evidence should bring some relief to men who have not yet been circumcised, out of fear that this will affect their performance.


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