Medical circumcision and the politics of no alternative: Why the public health imperative scored a victory against HIV/AIDS?
Medical male circumcision (MMC) is one of the latest biomedical interventions to be advocated by the international community as a key HIV/AIDS prevention strategy. Despite its association with exogenous cultural and religious customs, the practice has been relatively well received in non-Western contexts. This chapter examines the reasons for this and posits that a range of historical, scientific, and cultural factors have facilitated such an endorsement. While MMC could be seen as the product of a convergence of discourses, we caution against the widespread implementation of this HIV prevention intervention without due consideration for addressing the localized complexities of the epidemic, including the challenges of community participation that are regarded as being central to the broad spectrum of HIV-related interventions.