U.S. Will Spend $24.5M to Circumcise Men in Swaziland

May 14, 2014 - 1:49 PM

Swaziland Elections

Swaziland's King, Mswati III, front, dances during a Reed Dance in Mbabane, Swaziland. (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe, File)

(CNSNews.com) – The United States Agency for International Development is planning to spend $24.5 million to circumcise an estimated 150,000 to 200,000 male infants and males aged 10 to 49 in the kingdom of Swaziland by 2018.

The Kingdom of Swaziland has the highest rates of HIV in the world, accounting for 31 percent HIV prevalence among adults, the grant said.

“While the data suggest that the rate of new infections is stabilizing, HIV and AIDS remain the most important health burden and impediment to socio-economic development for Swaziland,” the grant said. “As a result, there is an urgent need to scale up the HIV prevention response in Swaziland.”

The Voluntary Medical Male Circumcision (VMMC) and Early Infant Circumcision (EIMC) Service Delivery and Support to Government of the Kingdom of Swaziland (GKOS) will be funded through the Presidents Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR).

“PEPFAR’s global targets for 2013 include preventing 12 million new HIV infections,” the grant said.

“The overall goal of this new project is to increase the uptake of male circumcision services among all eligible males aged 10 to 49 in Swaziland and male infants,” the grant announcement said.

“Interventions will contribute to the achievement of the following National outcomes 1. increasing the proportion of males aged 10-49 who are circumcised from 19 percent in 2010 to 45 percent in 2015 and 70 percent in 2018 2. increasing the proportion of male infants who are circumcised to 30 percent by 2015 and 50 percent in 2018,” it said.

“An estimated 150,000 to 200,000 males will be circumcised through this project contributing to a 65 percent coverage by 2018,” the grant said.

The estimated time frame for the agreement is Oct. 1, 2014 to Sept. 30, 2019.

Calls to USAID for comment were not returned by press time.