Traditional or at the clinic… what is the best way to get circumcised?

In many communities in South Africa, male circumcision is an important tradition that tells your community that boyhood has ended and you have become a man.  Let’s have a look at the different ways to get circumcised and bust some myths!

Traditional circumcision

Some boys and young men go to ‘initiation school’ where they camp in mountains for about 3 weeks. During this time, they are taught different values, traditions and life lessons, and often they are circumcised.

Voluntary Medical Male Circumcision (VMMC)

VMMC is a way for you to get circumcised for free at your clinic. If you have already gone for traditional circumcision and have partial circumcision, you can still get a VMMC. For more facts about VMMC, read this article.

Traditional or VMMC – what is the best way to get circumcised?

It’s your right to choose how you get circumcised. There is no right or wrong way, as long as it is your choice, and that when you go for your circumcision it’s done by trained professionals.

Circumcision myths…busted!

Here are four common circumcision myths and the facts:


1. Myth: A man should have sex with a virgin after circumci­sion to promote healing. This is false.

  • Fact: You should wait 6 weeks to have sex after your circumcision to eliminate the risk of infection or contracting HIV through open wounds on your penis. Having sex with a virgin will result in her no longer being a virgin… and nothing else.

2. Myth: A man must have sex with a woman who is not their girlfriend or wife to remove bad luck and curses from their body after circumcision. This is false.

  • Fact: Having sex without a condom can put you at risk of HIV and STIs, and having multiple partners could cause problems for your health and even your relationship. 

3. Myth: The first woman that a man has sex with after circumcision will become a sex worker. This is false.

  • Fact: Having sex with your partner does not lead them to become a sex worker unless you force them into sex work. 

4. Myth: If you don’t get your circumcision done at the mountain, you are weak. This is false.

  • Fact: Getting circumcised is your choice. Getting it done at your clinic is a valid option and the government offers this service for free.

Whatever you decide, make sure that you and your partner get tested for HIV together, and that you use a condom every time you have sex. To find out about what will happen on the day of your VMMC, read this.

To find out more about researchers have said about this topic, click here.


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