Zimbabwe says it wants to circumcise 80 per cent of its male population or about five million people.
The programme started in 2009 and is mainly bankrolled by donors such as the United States’ President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR).
Ms Khupe said ministers had agreed to take part in the programme after the government hired South African consultants to explain the exercise to them.
“They thought we were joking when we started talking about circumcision,” she told the Sunday News newspaper.
“But in the end it was agreed that all the ministers should go for the exercise if our aim of reducing the spread of HIV/Aids is to be translated into reality.” Zimbabwe is one of the few African countries that have witnessed a huge decline in HIV transmission rates. The country used to have one of the biggest Aids caseloads in the world until the number of people infected with HIV almost halved from 29 per cent to 16 per cent between 1997 and 2007.
The figure has since gone further down to around 13 per cent.
Researchers have attributed the trend to behaviour change because of improved public awareness of Aids and the subsequent fear of contracting the virus.