The Zambian government is aiming to circumcise more than 2.5 million men in hopes of curbing HIV transmission across the African country, VOA news reports. Currently less than 20% of Zambian men are circumcised.
Victor Mukonka, the public health and research director for Zambia's health ministry, said the plan was to hit the target of 2.5 million circumcisions in the next decade.
While circumcision is practiced regularly in some parts of Zambia, citizens in other areas oppose it on grounds of religion and tradition. However, the United Nations' AIDS arm says male circumcision can reduce the risk of heterosexual transmission of HIV by 60%.
The health ministry is also looking for schoolteachers and other community leaders to encourage others to undergo the procedure.