Uganda Launches Male Circumcision Drive To Help Curb Spread of HIV
Uganda has launched a male circumcision drive in an effort to curb the spread of HIV in the country, Reuters reports. According to Reuters, the campaign -- which aims to circumcise more than 3,000 local young men between ages 12 and 18 -- aligns with a month-long traditional "circumcision season" practiced by some tribes in Uganda. Male circumcision is socially "uniting," and it is "gratifying" that the procedure has been shown to reduce a man's risk of HIV, Kibale Wambi, chair of the Sironko district in eastern Uganda, said.
Some HIV/AIDS advocates say that more funding and effort is needed for making circumcision available worldwide, according to Reuters. However, some critics of male circumcision say that the procedure can be dangerous, especially in settings where the same instruments are used for multiple circumcisions. For this campaign, the Ugandan government has implemented a one-knife-per-procedure policy to prevent the spread of infections, Reuters reports. "If a knife is to be re-used on another person, it first has to be sterilized," Wambi said, adding, "We have also discouraged the traditional practice of forcing the circumcised males into sexual intercourse to prove their manhood after the wound heals to avoid the spread of" sexually transmitted infections. Some experts have expressed concerns that newly circumcised men might believe they are immune to HIV/AIDS following the procedure, which could contribute to an increase in risky sexual behavior, according to Reuters (Nyakairu, Reuters, 8/13).