The Centre for HIV-AIDS Prevention Studies

Community-Led, Community-Loved, Community Trusted

Medical Male Circumcision

Why Get Circumcised – MMC Benefits And Facts

WHAT IS MEDICAL MALE CIRCUMCISION?

Medical male circumcision (MMC) is the surgical removal of the foreskin of the penis, by a trained healthcare professional or doctor. It is a voluntary process and the procedure is available free of charge by certain doctors and nurses in the programme.

WHO IS ELIGIBLE?

  • Males aged 10 and up
  • Clients in general good health
  • Clients with controlled diabetes and blood pressure
  • Clients who are HIV positive with a CD4 count above 200
  • Men who would like to take responsibility for the health and well-being of them and their families.

WHAT ARE BENEFITS OF MMC?

Benefits to men:

  • MMC reduces the risk of contracting HIV by 60%.
  • MMC reduces the risk of ulcerative sexually-transmitted infections (e.g. herpes simplex, syphilis etc).
  • MMC makes the penis easier to clean, enhancing overall hygiene of the penis.
  • MMC is linked to a reduction in prostate cancer and penile cancer.
  • MMC treats phimosis (when the foreskin does not retract) and paraphimosis.
  • MMC prevents balanitis (inflammation of the glans and foreskin).

Benefits to women, whose partners circumcise

  • MMC reduces their risk of exposure to HIV.
  • MMC reduces the risk of developing cervical cancer (HPV), contracting genital ulcer disease and vaginal infections (bacterial vaginosis and trichomoniasis infection).

In both men and women

  • One HIV infection could be averted for every five MMCs performed.
  • MMC reduces the risk of human papillomavirus (HPV), which is linked to 100% of cervical cancers, 90% of anal cancers, and 40% of cancers of the penis, vulva, and vagina.
  • MMC reduces urinary tract infections (UTIs).
  • MMC reduces STIs such as herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2), genital ulcer disease and syphilis.
  • MMC can potentially halve the risk of prostate cancer.

HOW DOES MMC PROTECT MEN AGAINST HIV INFECTION?

Uncircumcised men who are exposed to HIV are more likely to become infected, because the foreskin makes them more vulnerable to contracting HIV.  Removing the foreskin through MMC reduces the likelihood of HIV infection. The foreskin is more susceptible to HIV compared to other tissue. It has a greater susceptibility to tears and abrasions during sex, creating tiny microscopic holes for the entry of infections, including HIV. The inner surface of the foreskin is also moist, soft and has a high concentration of target cells for HIV infection. The moisture also helps HIV to survive.

IS IT RISKY TO GET A CIRCUMCISION?

MMC is a low-risk procedure and adverse events are rare. Potential risks are minimised by:

  • Only trained medical professionals carrying out MMC in sterile environments.
  • Counselling and education at time of procedure about wound care (keeping the penis upright, washing regularly with salt water and changing of dressings).
  • Sexual abstinence during the wound healing period.

IS THE MMC PROCEDURE PAINFUL?

Clients do not experience pain in the same way. A local anaesthetic (injection) is given at the beginning of the surgical procedure.  This prevents you from feeling pain during the procedure and it makes you numb.  After the circumcision, men report minor discomfort in the first few days but this is easily managed with over-the-counter pain relief.

How is MMC performed?

Medical Male Circumcision is performed by trained and qualified health professionals.

You will get a small injection to numb the feeling while we do the procedure.

You will not feel any pain during the procedure.

We remove the part of the foreskin that covers the head of your penis.

This process takes 10 minutes. Afterwards, we place a bandage on your penis that has to remain on for 2 days.

DOES MMC DECREASE SENSATION IN THE PENIS AND SEXUAL FUNCTION?

Many men report sexual satisfaction and normal sexual function after circumcision. Women have reported normal or increased sexual satisfaction with a circumcised partner.

DO YOU STILL NEED TO USE A CONDOM AFTER YOU ARE CIRCUMCISED?

It is extremely important to use a condom every time.

Because of the benefits of MMC, some men and women make the mistake of thinking that circumcision is 100% protective against HIV and STIs, so they engage in risky behaviour, which increases their risk of contracting HIV. Always use a condom.

Why Choose Us?

  • We are the leaders in MMC service delivery in South Africa and Swaziland.
  • We have performed over 750 000 MMCs.
  • We offer technical assistance to other organisations working in the MMC field.
  • Our staff are highly experienced, skilled and professional.
  • We offer training to doctors and nurses to perform MMC.
  • We are committed to reducing the spread of HIV.
  • We always strive for excellence.

Care for your circumcision:

Do you want to get circumcised?