A Brother’s Guide to Getting Circumcised

A Brother’s Guide to Getting Circumcised


Making an Appointment

To get safe, free and quick medical male circumcision SMS your full name to 30869 or call/send a free ‘please call me’ to 0606 3322 11.

What do I need to get circumcised?

You do not need anything to get circumcised. Just bring along your I.D if you are a South African.

If you are non-South African you are also welcome to come for medical male circumcision. Please bring some form of identification, such as a passport.

Before coming to the clinic make sure you have eaten well. You will not be circumcised if you arrive at the clinic under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

How long does it take?

Although the circumcision procedure itself only takes 30 minutes you will have group counselling when you arrive at the clinic or hospital and you will be offered private and confidential HIV counselling and testing. There is also some paperwork involved. All in all, you should set aside an hour, to an hour and a half for the whole circumcision process.

Brothers for Life, through its partner Right to Care, only offers circumcision surgery. Circumcision done with circumcision clamps is not being offered in South African public

What happens at the clinic?

When you arrive at the clinic for medical male circumcision you will be given group counselling. In this session the healthcare workers will tell you about the advantages and possible risks of medical male circumcision and you will sign a consent form.

You will also be offered private and confidential HIV counselling and testing. You do not have to test but it is encouraged so that you can stay healthy and strong. Your recovery may be affected if you are HIV-positive because it increases your risk of infection. It helps the medical team to know your status so that they can offer you the best treatment.

If you test positive you may still get circumcised depending on your CD4 count results and the doctor’s recommendation. You will be offered support and initiated on HIV treatment (ARVs) or referred to a clinic or hospital where you can be initiated on HIV treatment (ARVs). Many brothers are living healthy and productive lives with HIV.

The circumcision surgery will be done by a trained healthcare provider (doctor or nurse), who is specially trained to perform circumcisions. The doctor snips off the foreskin and places a few stitches that fall out on their own once the penis is healed. During the procedure, aside from the pinch from the injection of local anaesthetic, you shouldn’t feel anything. The circumcision surgery itself takes about 30 minutes.

After the wound is bandaged, you are given painkillers to help manage any mild pain or discomfort you may have when the local anaesthetic wears off. You are also given instructions on how to keep the wound clean while it heals, as well as a medical certificate if you need time off from work or studies while you recover. Three follow-up appointments are made where the nurse checks that the wound is healing and healthy.

What about healing time?

The circumcision healing process takes 6 weeks. This is the time it takes for wound to close properly. You should avoid sex and masturbation during this time. If you have sex or masturbate you could damage the wound and expose yourself to HIV infection and other complications.

Even though the full healing process takes 6 weeks, you can go back to work the next day or in a couple of days. You can get back to your exercise routine, soccer and gym 2 weeks after circumcision.

You must keep the bandage on and dry for the first 2 days after your circumcision. It is important to go back to the clinic on day 2 so that the healthcare provider can remove the bandage and check the wound. You will need to clean your wound twice a day for 2 weeks or until the wound has closed.