Government accused of ‘relaxed’ opinions on circumcision

An official from the Uganda Health Marketing Group demonstrates to UPDF soldiers how a black condom or a moon bead works. The soldiers under the Presidential Guard Brigade were intrigued by the discoveries that were displayed during celebrations to mark World Aids Day at Kasensero Landing Site in Rakai on Saturday. PHOTO BY ISSA ALIGA.


Civil society organisations have accused the government of not doing enough to encourage male circumcision in the fight against HIV.

Mr Richard Hasunira, an HIV/Aids adviser at HEPS-Uganda, a health rights organisation that advocates increased access to affordable essential medicines, said the Health ministry was “relaxed” about safe male circumcision (SMC) despite its benefits in reducing the risk of HIV infection.

Less than half of the 1.2 million men targeted for circumcision in 2012 will be cut, a report by civil society organisations shows.

The SMC policy was launched at the end of 2010 after a four-year research indicated that medically performed male circumcision reduces the risk of HIV infection in men by an average of 60 per cent. “The biggest problem to this failing by the ministry is the lack of a policy strategic plan which is essential for any big campaign.”

The National HIV and Aids strategic plan 2007-2012 includes SMC as one of the prevention measures.


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