But as they loosened up, their questions became more pointed: How much will it hurt? For a year, the Nyanza Reproductive Health Society has operated the Katito clinic here in Nyanza province.Each week, as many as two dozen men and boys as young as 10 shuffle their feet and kick the dust as they wait in a courtyard also occupied by goats.
Five at a time crowd into a small room to speak first with counselor Japheth Ouko, who explains the circumcision procedure, the risks and the proper post-op care.
Using a brown wooden model of male genitalia as a prop, he occasionally waves it like a pointer. Ouko grills the men to think about why they are there: Are you afraid?
Do you understand that this is not a fail-safe prevention?
Editor's note: Africa has the world's largest number of HIV infections and AIDS cases.
Across the continent the disease is being battled with public education and antiretroviral drugs. Several tests show that circumcised men have substantially reduced risks of contracting HIV.
In response, several campaigns have been launched to circumcise men.Global Post has investigated this public health effort in eastern and southern Africa.The series starts in Kenya in the fishing villages by Lake Victoria and includes a video of a circumcision.Also, a Kenyan doctor describes his work running a circumcision clinic, health writer Mercedes Sayagues gives her controversial opinion on the issue and a South African doctor describes the circumcision campaign in several southern African countries. It was male circumcision day in this village in southwestern Kenya.KATITO, Kenya — The men snickered awkwardly as they discussed their sex lives. The weekly clinic of medical professionals is part of an internationally funded fight against HIV and AIDS.At first, they dutifully recited talking points — “I want to be protected from HIV” — like school children trying to say exactly what the teacher wanted to hear. Research in Kenya, Uganda and South Africa has shown that circumcision can reduce a man’s chances of infection by as much as 60 percent during heterosexual sex.