Redrawing what it means to be a man

Voluntary medical male circumcision (VMMC) is part of a male-mentoring programme in Swaziland that seeks to change dangerous expectations about masculinity, Al Jazeera reports. The director of the programme, which is called Kwakha Indvodza (Building a Man), notes that the widespread belief that a man should be strong, solitary, and authoritative makes men less likely to seek medical services, putting their health at risk. The article describes how this notion of an “ideal man” contributes to risky sexual behavior and discourages men from getting tested for HIV or receiving VMMC services. The majority of the boys who participate in Kwakha Indvodza do decide to get circumcised. The programme provides male role models and other services, primarily to orphaned boys. Almost one out of three Swazi adults are living with HIV, and about 100,000 children have been orphaned by AIDS (Al Jazeera, 10 August 2016).