United States (US) Ambassador to Zambia, Mark Storella, says national leaders hold the key to the reduction of new HIV infections through medical male circumcision.
Speaking during a Medical Male Circumcision Workshop for Members of Parliament today, Mr Storella urged Members of Parliament and other leaders to go for male circumcision and thereby encourage other citizens to do the same.
He said male circumcision is a huge intervention in the fight against HIV and AIDS as it reduces the risk of HIV infections by 60 per cent.
Mr Storella stated that the circumcision of 1.9 million people by 2015 target that Zambia has set for itself could translate to 339,632 new infections prevented if combined with other methods of protection.
And speaking when he launched the workshop, Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly, Mkhondo Lungu, said the workshop is meant to provide a platform for Members of Parliament to share information on male circumcision in HIV prevention, and also explore ways of how MPs can use their leadership positions to increase the numbers of people undergoing male circumcision in their constituencies.
Mr Lungu expressed gratitude to the US for increasing funding to Zambia for male circumcision from US $ 5 million to US $16 million in 2012.