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Monday, 23 July 2012

President Museveni makes another attack on Uganda’s Bogus Circumcision Crusade


Circumcision not enough to curb HIV – Museveni

Sunday, 22 July 2012 21:08


President Yoweri Museveni has said it is not enough to promote circumcision as an effective strategy in fighting HIV/AIDS, without continued emphasis on behaviour change.

Campaigns aimed at reducing infection levels, he says, ought to concentrate on advocating good behaviour: abstinence for unmarried people and faithfulness among those in wedlock.

“I have witnessed Muslims and other people from tribes that cherish circumcision like the Bagisu, die of Aids. Therefore, who told [health workers and leaders] that circumcision [prevents] HIV [infection]? ” he said.

Museveni was speaking during celebrations to mark 100 years of Mbarara High School in Mbarara district, Saturday. The school was started by Ankole kingdom and the Church Missionary Society of England in 1911. Several distinguished Ugandans, including President Museveni, are old students of the school. Museveni was there for junior secondary from 1959 to 1960.

At the centenary celebrations, Museveni advised leaders and health workers to sensitize the youth about the dangers of peer pressure, saying many young people have been influenced by their friends into engaging in early sex and pre-marital sex and early marriages, not in getting circumcised to avoid being infected with HIV.

“[Leaders and health workers] are busy spreading confusion of circumcision, instead of concentrating on behaviour change,” he said.

According to the World Health Organisation and UNAIDS, there is compelling evidence that male circumcision reduces the risk of heterosexually acquired HIV infection in men by approximately 60%. WHO/UNAIDS recommendations emphasize that male circumcision should be considered an effective intervention for HIV prevention in countries and regions with heterosexual epidemics, high HIV and low male circumcision prevalence.

However, they add, male circumcision provides only partial protection and should, therefore, be only one element of a comprehensive HIV prevention package which includes: provision of HIV testing and counselling services; treatment for sexually transmitted infections; promotion of safer sex practices; provision of male and female condoms and promotion of their correct and consistent use.

The ministry of Health and various partners in Uganda, including local government leaders, are promoting circumcision throughout the country and equipping health centres IIIs, among other health facilities, to conduct safe male circumcision.


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Makerere University Walter Reed Project (MUWRP) Circumcises 375 Ugandan Men

Makerere University Walter Reed Project (MUWRP) Circumcises 375 Ugandan Men

Ugandan Speaker of Parliament Rt. Hon. Rebecca Kadaga launched Parliament Health Week on December 5 with a call to rejuvenate the national fight against HIV and cancer. As part of its programming, Parliament invited the U.S. Mission-supported Makerere University Walter Reed Project (MUWRP) to provide Safe Male Circumcision (SMC) services to Members of Parliament and staff during the health fair, held on Parliament grounds from December 5-8, 2011.

During Health Week, the MUWRP surgical team circumcised 375 men, including three Members of Parliament. As the week progressed, so did demand for services; the team circumcised 63 males on Tuesday, 83 on Wednesday, 91 on Thursday, and 88 on Friday. The SMC package included a physical exam, voluntary HIV counseling and testing, education about SMC, screening and treatment of sexually transmitted infections, and clear post-surgical instructions. After the health fair, MUWRP staff followed up with participants to ensure they had no adverse effects from the procedure.

MUWRP is a non-profit partnership between Makerere University and the U.S. Military HIV Research Program (MHRP), which is part of the greater effort to advance HIV research, prevention, care, and treatment in Uganda. MHRP has been conducting HIV research in Uganda since 1998. In 2005, MHRP expanded its portfolio to include prevention, care and treatment activities under the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR).