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Africans Speak Out Against Mass Circumcision



“We respect science honestly, but we do not support what science brings to finish us, to defile our cultures, defile our rights.” — Prince Hillary Maloba — against Mass Circumcision

VMMC Experience Project, Mass Circumcision

Health policy or colonial racism? Kenyans and Ugandans respond to the African circumcision campaign.

The VMMC Experience Project recently sent cameras into Uganda and Kenya to document the realities of the mass circumcision program. Local investigators conducted interviews with 90 affected men and women and found:

1. Africans are told circumcision conveys immunity from HIV.

2. Condom use is at an all-time low, and AIDS is on the rise.

3. The program is killing the very people it is supposed to help.

4. No follow-up post circumcision (cut-and-release approach).

5. Resentment and outrage among Africans.

Mass Circumcision

The “Voluntary Medical Male Circumcision” (VMMC) public health program is the first mass surgical campaign in human history.

It targets Africans exclusively, leading some to question whether there are underlying racial motives.

For centuries, western stereotypes have held that African men are lascivious or hypersexed, unable to control their sexual urges. Compulsory African-American male circumcision campaigns were proposed as early as the nineteenth century.

Prince Hillary Maloba is a native Kenyan, director of the VMMC Experience Project, and the driving force behind the investigation.

“Male circumcision,” he explains, “as a project that has been applied for we [sic] Africans, has failed to reduce HIV the way we were told. Two, we view it as a violation of human rights. How target only one race in the entire world?”

Bishop Cleophas Matete, another native Kenyan, agrees: “I believe the entire process of trying to test it in Africa was wrong from the beginning.”

The mass circumcision campaign was introduced to reduce the incidence of HIV in fourteen sub-Saharan African countries that did not initially practice genital cutting. However, UNAIDS data indicate that the African HIV epidemic has only worsened since 2010—shortly after VMMC was implemented. For the first time since the war on AIDS began, HIV is back on the rise.

The World Health Organization claims that male circumcision curbs female-to-male HIV transmission by up to 60 percent and provides lifelong partial protection against HIV and other sexually transmitted infections. Their conclusions derive from a process of contentious surgical experimentation on Africans.

Opponents allege that the targeting of impoverished Africans constitutes a racial and human rights issue. Comparisons are made to the Tuskegee syphilis study. Others argue that the program results in a dangerous false security. The present investigation confirms that men, women, and teens are abandoning condoms out of a belief that they are already protected by circumcision. This in turn increases the spread of HIV.

Prior to the VMMC Experience Project investigation, none have consulted or followed up with the men and women who have been directly affected. Many are living in rural poverty, invisible to the developed world. They have had no platform or voice in the circumcision agenda. Maloba’s investigation is the first to shed light on the African side of the story.

African men and women say the campaign is violating their rights, confusing their cultural identity, and profoundly worsening the AIDS epidemic. They implicate the program in the spike in HIV cases we have seen in recent years. Seven respondents in Maloba’s investigation said that they had acquired HIV because of misinformation around circumcision.

“I blame those who told me that if I get circumcised I won’t get HIV,” said one respondent, “and I got HIV already!” Others mourned the loss of friends, brothers, relatives, and neighbors to AIDS following the procedure they believed would protect them. “These people are dying of HIV due to ignorance,” a respondent explained.

“If we don’t stop this thing,” Maloba warns, “this community will not have a generation that will take care of the old people.”

Instead of mass circumcision, Africans want funding for sustainable medical facilities, anti-retroviral medications (ARVs), more durable condoms, HIV education, and poverty reduction initiatives.

Many cite AIDS-related tragedies from the VMMC program. They seek an end to the circumcision campaign as a public health disaster and a form of cultural imperialism from the West. “It is something that has been imposed on us,” a reverend explained in his interview. “If I could get a forum to fight it, I could fight it very hard.”

*VMMC-promoting institutions include the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the World Health Organization, UNAIDS, USAID, PEPFAR, Jhpiego (Johns Hopkins University), and numerous NGOs.

About the VMMC Experience Project

The VMMC Experience Project is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit effort to document the effects and aftermath of the world’s first mass surgical campaign. Its aim is to empower the most frequently overlooked contingent in the African circumcision regime: Africans.
Quick Links:

The VMMC Experience Vault. Candid interviews with 90 men and women affected by the circumcision campaign.

Previews. Video previews of the VMMC investigation.

A Slave Has No Power Over His Masters. Prince Hillary Maloba’s groundbreaking speech on the problem of VMMC and why Africans must resist it.





Max Fish
[email protected]




  1. Adam Cornish

    December 22, 2016 at 12:07 pm

    Nearly a million American men have died of AIDS. 85% of them were circumcised. In the US, nobody believes that circumcision prevents HIV. Men use condoms to protect themselves.
    The African studies were done by people already advocating circumcision. They were biased in the beginning, and they are biased now. Gray, Bailey, Auvert, and others were well known as pro-circumcision. The surprise was that the WHO was so easily swayed by so little evidence. Bill Gates is circumcised, so donating money for circumcision seems natural to him.
    Africans are beginning to learn the truth. Circumcision is not the promised panacea. Condoms protect, and you get to keep all of your body.

  2. Andy

    December 22, 2016 at 12:11 pm

    It is precisely because legal professionals are so few and far between, that Africa is being used to experiment with circumcision. You see it being advocated to fight HIV nowhere else. It’s outrageous. Prince Hillary is a brave man to speak out, when so many hold the opposite opinion, but he is speaking the truth.

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