Doctors want compulsory circumcision of soldiers
Publish Date: Aug 10, 2009
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By Charles Ariko

HEALTH officials have recommended that uniformed personnel be circumcised as one of the means of preventing the spread of HIV/AIDS.

Dr. Stella Nema, a researcher on HIV/AIDS, yesterday said the Police, Prisons and army officers fall under the category that is now classified as the ‘most at risk’ population just like the commercial sex workers and long distance truck drivers.

Giving an example of the Uganda Prisons Service, Nema said when recruits join the service, their HIV/AIDS prevalence is at 1% but it shoots up to about 7% in less than five years after being passed out.

Nema was yesterday speaking at the launch of an HIV/AIDS counselling and testing campaign at Luzira Prison in Kampala.

Dr. Zainabu Akol, the programme manager in charge of sexually transmitted diseases in the health ministry, said: “Male recruits who test HIV-negative should all get circumcised. Rwanda, Burundi and DR Congo are circumcising.”

Akol appealed to the recruits to test for HIV/AIDS so that they know their status, which she said would help them to remain healthy.

“When you know your status, you know where you belong. If you know that you are positive, protect yourself and others by having protected sex. If you are negative, remain negative,” Akol advised.

Dr. Johnson Byabashaija, the Commissioner General of Prisons, said knowing one’s status helps, especially those who might be HIV-positive and in need of treatment.

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