UNAIDS and the World Health Organisation (WHO) recommended circumcision as an important new element of HIV Prevention.
As such, local health authorities have since embarked on a massive campaign encouraging men to get circumcised. The campaign has seen prominent Zim musicians like Winky D and high profile politicians such as Mines Minister Orbert Mpofu being circumcised too.
Scientific trials have shown that male circumcision can reduce a man’s risk of becoming infected with HIV during sex by up to 60% hence the call for this campaign dubbed ‘Pinda muSmart’.
However, despite the health and hygienic advantages of circumcision, it has since been established that circumcision also boosts revenue for a large quota of prostitutes. In a random survey conducted a local publication, siphoning information from sex workers, circumcised men pay more for sex. Revelations made by hookers operating around the Avenues, Harare’s unrivalled red light district, show that prices for sex vary depending on the potential client’s “circumcision status”.
Their argument was that since the process of circumcision involved the removal of foreskin which contains sensory nerve receptors, that diminishes the man’s sensitivity thereby increasing the period of sex sessions. An increase in time in the sex session, they argued, meant a loss of other potential clients in that period because they thrive on ‘pushing volumes’.
“You see the problem with circumcised clients is they take too long to complete a single round.I might risk losing revenue from other clients and waste time on one guy for the same price, so we therefore push our charges upwards if one is circumcised,” said a self proclaimed prostitute.
Several other sex workers corroborated with her stating that there is a slight increase of US$20 to about US$30 if their client is circumcised.