Voluntary medical male circumcision

Voluntary medical male circumcision is safe and free. It is voluntary, but we encourage men to get circumcised because it has been shown to reduce HIV transmission rates by 60% in heterosexual intercourse. HIV risk is higher in men who have sex with men.

“Being circumcised means caring about my wife’s health as much as I care about my own,” says Tinswalo Mnisi, who is in his late 20s.

“I was afraid that circumcision would be very painful. I was wrong. Today I’m happy that I made a healthy choice for my future,” says Banele Nzima who is in his early 20s.

Circumcision services – safe, free and available near you


SMS us or call our call centre
(082 808 6152) to:

  • ask questions about circumcisions,
  • make a booking for a circumcision or
  • be referred to the nearest clinic.

Medical male circumcision

As well as reducing the sexual transmission of HIV and some sexually transmitted infections (STIs), circumcision helps reduce the human papilloma virus (HPV) which causes cervical cancer in women.
Medical male circumcision is a simple procedure with little down time and minimal pain. It’s done by medical professionals and it may be offered free of charge.
Studies and statistics tell a great story: One HIV infection could be averted for every five circumcisions performed. Circumcision also reduces sexually transmitted infection (STIs) like herpes, genital ulcer disease and syphilis, and, it reduces urinary tract infections (UTIs).

A healthy choice for men and their female partners

Medical Male Circumcision, also called MMC, is a proactive health choice that men can make for themselves and their female partners. It is a central part of looking after your health. It is a choice you can make for yourself and your partner to live well and healthy.
It is pain-free, easy, requires minimal time off work and sport, and it takes just six weeks to heal.

Right to Care supports the Department of Health:

Right to Care supports the Department of Health in several provinces across South Africa with a national circumcision drive which has prevented millions of new HIV infections. Since the start of Right to Care’s circumcision programme in 2012, we have safely circumcised more than 1,2 million men.

Eligible for free circumcision

Any male aged 15 and above in good health, irrespective of HIV status, is eligible for free circumcision in South Africa. Those under 18 need parental consent.
You will need to present your ID, birth certificate or asylum seeker permit at the healthcare facility when you go for your circumcision.
To make an appointment for your circumcision at a healthcare facility closest to you, send a ‘please call me’ to +27 (0)82 808 6152.

Frequently Asked Questions

Find out more about getting circumcised. See our FAQs on voluntary, safe circumcisions
  • VMMC is the full removal of the foreskin that fully exposes the head of the penis. It is a simple, safe procedure that is performed for free at clinics and district hospitals in South Africa by a qualified doctor or healthcare worker.

  • Removing the foreskin has many benefits:

    • Improves hygiene – it is easier to keep the penis clean.
    • Reduces HIV and STI transmission – it lowers the risk of HIV and STIs but circumcised men should still use condoms and ideally have only one partner.
    • Reduces cancer in women – circumcision reduces a woman’s risk of cervical cancer.
  • You will receive a local anaesthetic – a small injection at the base of the penis – before the procedure, so it is not painful. Pain or discomfort can occur once the anaesthetic has worn off and in the first few days after the procedure. Should you experience pain, take the pain medication given to you by the healthcare worker.

  • Before the circumcision, you will undergo an examination by trained healthcare workers for infections and foreskin abnormalities and receive treatment if necessary. A specially trained doctor or nurse performs the circumcision. The whole procedure lasts around 30 minutes. The healthcare worker will stitch and dress the wound.

  • If you weren’t circumcised as a baby, it’s not too late. Any male aged 15 and above and in good health, irrespective of HIV status, is eligible for free circumcision in South Africa. Those under 18 need parental consent.

Caring for your wound after the circumcision procedure

Even though the wound heals fast after your circumcision, it can tear easily because the skin around the wound is weak. Make sure to follow what your healthcare workers recommend.

Avoid sex and masturbating for six weeks after your circumcision. This will prevent tearing and help you to heal properly. If you tear the wound:

• it will take longer to heal and
• it may increase the risk of infection and other complications.

You may have erections during the healing process, which can be uncomfortable. To stop or relieve an erection, most men find that it helps to:

• wipe their penis with cold water or
• wrap ice in a clean cloth and put it on their penis and
• drink lots of water so that you urinate often.

After your circumcision procedure

Week one and two

You must visit the clinic after your procedure:
  • Day 2 – a healthcare worker must remove the bandage
  • Day 7 – a healthcare worker must check that your wound is healing well
  • Day 10 – 14 – the stitches will start falling out by themselves as the wound begins to close and heal.

After your procedure:

  • wear clean, loose-fitting underwear to keep your penis pointing up towards your stomach to prevent swelling,
  • clean your wound three times a day after the bandage has been removed,
  • use a gentle soap and water,
  • to make sure that the water is clean, boil it and allow it to cool down in a bowl,
  • always clean the bowl with boiled water,
  • do not use Dettol/Savlon, ointments, herbs, cow dung, ash or other substances on your wound,
  • avoid hard exercise eg lifting weights, running, soccer or rugby and
  • avoid working in dirty environments.

Week three and four

  • The stitches will fall out
  • You can start exercising again
  • Continue to clean the wound gently.

 Week five and six

  • The wound will feel like it has healed completely
  • Remember, the skin is still weak and can tear easily
  • Avoid sex and masturbation.

Myths about circumcision

Remember that accurate information is important. There are often myths that go around about circumcision. If you are thinking about circumcision, make sure can differentiate the facts from the myths.
  • Circumcision has no adverse effects on sexual function or pleasure. But, you must have your circumcision in a proper medical facility under sterile conditions. The healing process takes six weeks. You should not have sex or masturbate during the six-week healing process. Studies show that there is no differences in sexual desire, function or sensitivity after a man has been circumcised.

  • Circumcision is a quick and simple procedure and takes six weeks for a full recovery. Actual time off work is just a couple of days. You can ask for a doctor’s certificate for your work.

  • Circumcision doesn’t totally eliminate HIV transmission but it does reduce it significantly. Using a condom is still advised. Our experts say circumcise and condomise.

  • After the procedure, the nurses will give you a pack and show you how to clean your wound. You must clean the wound properly and keep your healthcare appointments. You can take up sport again after only two weeks. Healing takes six weeks.

  • There’s a South African myth that it’s better to get circumcised in winter. This simply is not true. There is no difference between a circumcision done in winter and one done in summer. It may even be more convenient to have your circumcision done in the summer holidays when many people are on leave and you don’t have to wait long for a booking date.

Right to Care’s circumcision champions

Right to Care works with wonderful men who help us talk openly about openly about circumcising and encourage men to get safely circumcised.

Kagiso Modupe 

Three years ago, Kagiso Modupe – soapie star, entrepreneur, husband and father – made one of the most important decisions of his life. More than 6,000 men joined him. He volunteered to be medically circumcised to protect himself from HIV and to protect his wife from the virus which causes cervical cancer.

“I did it because I understood that being circumcised reduced my chance of getting HIV/AIDS by 60%. It also cuts the risks of contracting sexually transmitted infections. The procedure took only 30 minutes under a local anaesthetic. Besides the injection, there was no pain and medication managed any discomfort. You’ll be back to normal in only six weeks. I did it, now join me!”

Prince Nhlanganiso Zulu

As far back as 2017, Prince Nhlanganiso Zulu, son of King Goodwill Zwelethini, called on Zulu men across the country to circumcise. He made the announcement in the name of the king of the Zulu nation, when he launched the Isibaya samaDoda campaign. Isibaya samaDoda loosely translates to ‘an enclosure or gathering area for men’. Prince Zulu believes that men should gather together to talk about their challenges and encourage one another to take care of their health.

“Part of a living a healthy lifestyle in Zulu culture must involve circumcision. Men must take responsibility for their health and for the health of their loved ones by being medically circumcised. The procedure is quick, safe and free, with medically proven benefits.”

Safe traditional initiation

Right to Care works closely with traditional leaders to make sure boys and young men are safely circumcised during their important journey into manhood. We want the custom of initiation to take place safely and in accordance with traditional culture.

Through our strong partnerships with the Eastern Cape House of Traditional Leaders and the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (CoGTA), Right to Care’s specialist teams are providing clinical support for traditional and customary circumcisions.

Circumcision services – safe, free and available near you

SMS us or call our call centre (082 808 6152) to:

  • ask questions about circumcisions,
  • make a booking for a circumcision or
  • be referred to the nearest clinic.

Talk to us on our social media platforms:

Other ways to prevent HIV


Using condoms is one of the most important ways to prevent HIV and sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Safe sex also involves knowing your HIV status and the status of your partner/s. For sex to be safe, you will need to be honest and your sexual partner/s will need to be honest too.

If you ever have sex without a condom, it will put you and your partner at risk. This risk increases if you have more than one partner.

If you are a man who has sex with other men (MSM), be aware that penetrative anal sex is riskier than penetrative vaginal sex. The highest risk of contracting HIV and STIs occur when you have penetrative anal sex without condoms.

For men, getting safely circumcised reduces your risk of getting infected with HIV by as much as 60%. It also prevents your female partners from getting the human papillomavirus virus (HPV) which causes cervical cancer.


PrEP and PEP for high risk individuals

While condoms are vital, there are options such as pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) for people who are at high risk such as:

  • Men who have sex with men (MSM),
  • Transgender people, especially transgender women,
  • Sex workers and
  • People who inject drugs.

Before sex – PrEP

PrEP involves taking HIV antiretroviral drugs before you believe you may be at risk of exposure to HIV. PrEP is two HIV medications combined into one pill.  By taking PrEP before the risk is highly effective in preventing sexual transmission of HIV. Healthcare workers will help you get PrEP if you are open with them. So if you are a sex worker or a man who has sex with other men, you should tell your doctor or a nurse at your closest facility.

After sex – PEP

PEP is a way to prevent HIV infection after a recent possible exposure to HIV. PEP should be used only in emergency situations and must be started immediately – no later than 72 hours after possible exposure to HIV.

Protecting yourself and your partner

If you are HIV-positive, you must protect your partner or partners during sex:

  • Take your ART as prescribed,
  • Keep using condoms,
  • Know the HIV status of your partner/s and
  • Tell your partner if you are HIV-positive or have an STI.

If you are HIV-negative:

  • Always use a condom when having sex,
  • Test regularly for HIV,
  • Consider going onto PrEP if you are high risk and
  • Consider that not having sex is an option.

Treating health seriously, caring, making treatment available in South Africa and abroad.

Contact Us

Email : info@righttocare.org
Phone : +27 (0) 11 276-8850