Hard boycottHard boycott

South Africans mull penis clamp ban

Circumcision rings, which help prevent HIV, may be boycotted over Gaza operation

Illustrative: Tools for a circumcision procedure (Yaakov Naumi/Flash90)
Illustrative: Tools for a circumcision procedure (Yaakov Naumi/Flash90)

In protest of Israel’s latest operation in the Gaza Strip, South Africans were reportedly mulling a boycott of Israeli-made penis clamps, a “safe, inexpensive, nearly painless, and non-surgical” device used to reduce HIV rates through medical circumcision.

The Israeli made, PrePex male circumcision ring is designed to assist in the removal of foreskin by stopping the blood flow to the region, subsequently killing off the skin cells on the tip of the member. The dead foreskin can later be easily removed. Circumcision has been shown to reduce the likelihood of contracting HIV by nearly 60%, according to PrePex.

The circumcision ring was set to be introduced at clinics and hospitals in South Africa next year as part of a Department of Health program to administrate 4.3 million male circumcisions by 2016. The launch of the program, however, was delayed since, according to a report in the Global Post, the “male circumcision ring is one of many products in South Africa being targeted by growing calls to boycott Israeli-made goods.”

The boycott was initiated by the Cosatu trade union federation.

“We don’t want Cosatu on our backs about this,” said Dayanund Loykissoonlal, the department’s deputy director-general for medical male circumcision, with regard to the penis clamps, Times Live reported.

On its part, Cosatu said it supported the Department of Health’s decision not to introduce the device.

“We’re going to put pressure on businesses to prevent anything that comes from Israel being sold in this country,” Cosatu spokesman Patrick Craven said, according to the Times Live.

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