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Mr Swaziland talks about circumcision experience

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MBABANE- A lot of men would not publicly talk about a matter as private as getting circumcised, but reigning Mr Swaziland, Okwakhe Dlamini does not hesitate to discuss this matter openly.

He said dealing with this issue openly and honestly was the only way other men could be influenced into taking this major step. He said as soon as he heard the benefits of circumcision, he took an immediate decision to undergo the procedure. He was attending the Double D-Day at Mavuso Trade Centre on September 5, 2009, when his curiosity was aroused by the green banners that were all over the place.

He learnt that PSI Swaziland was encouraging men to get circumcised and after discussions with one of the inter-personal communication agents, he decided to register his name for the procedure. “It did not occur to me that I could actually go home and think about it – I knew right then that it was something I had to do and it is one of the most important decisions I have ever taken,” Dlamini said.

He said besides the personal benefits, he knew his decision would influence his peers and many other men to follow suit. The benefits of getting circumcised include enhanced penile hygiene, reduction of STIs and HIV infection and reduction of chances of one’s partner getting cervical cancer. Dlamini was circumcised on Wednesday at the Litsemba Letfu Men’s Clinic in Matsapha and said the procedure went without a hitch.

He said naturally he was a bit apprehensive but the counsellors and doctors put him at ease as they explained every step of the procedure to him. He was first counselled and tested for HIV, which he said was not difficult because he already knew his status. “I was curious about why HIV tests are done and it was explained to me that doctors need to know the person’s status so they can advise them accordingly and also to ensure that the person’s CD 4 count is high enough to ensure that they will recover quickly. Being HIV positive does not mean one cannot undergo the process,” he said.

Dlamini said he was on his way to recovery and will be returning to the clinic today for a follow up visit to ensure that everything was okay. He said there was nothing traumatic about the experience as one knows what to expect and said the anesthetic administered ensured that the experience is pain-free.

“I felt great relief after getting it done. I knew I had taken a major step in my life and can now talk about the subject based on experience. Many of my friends are keen to get circumcised and if need be, I will accompany them there. I would advise all Swazi men to double their defence against HIV by getting circumcised and then using condoms correctly everytime they have sex,” he said.

He said HIV was a real threat and all avenues of reducing the risk of contracting it should be explored.

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