Ugandan President Museveni Cautions Soldiers Against ‘Reckless’ Behavior That Increases HIV Risk
Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni on Thursday cautioned soldiers in the Uganda People's Defense Forces against "reckless" behavior that increases risk of HIV transmission, Uganda's New Vision reports. "This is the biggest problem for you, young people, reckless living," Museveni told 2,231 HIV-negative recruits who recently completed a nine-month course at the Kaweweta Military School near Kampala, Uganda. "We did not train you to die of AIDS," he told the soldiers, adding, "We have trained you to live long, work for your army and your country" (Wasike, New Vision, 9/22).
Military spokesperson Maj. Felix Kulaije in April 2006 said the Ugandan armed forces no longer will train HIV-positive soldiers because of fears that doing so could result in adverse health effects for the HIV-positive soldiers. Armed forces recruits are required to undergo testing for HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, hepatitis, heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes before enlistment, Kulaije said. Recruits found to be living with any of these conditions will be banned from service, and active soldiers with any of the conditions will not be considered for advancement or new training, according to Kulaije. According to Brig. Silver Moses Kayemba, the army's chief of operations and training, the military made the decision because it was losing more soldiers to HIV/AIDS-related causes than to conflict (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 4/5/06).