Uganda to circumcise 1 million men

Uganda launched a programme to circumcise over a million men every year in a bid to stem the increase in HIV/Aids infections.

"Uganda still has a big epidemic of HIV and last year, we had 123,000 new infections," Dr Christopher Oleke, an official with the project under the health ministry said. "We are launching this program to target over one million males aged 14-55 years."

Mobile health units will be used to reach outlying areas of the country under the voluntary exercise, which aims to increase the percentage of circumcised people in the country from 20 to 40%, Oleke said.

More than 2.5 million people have been infected by Aids in the East African country since the virus that causes the disease was diagnosed here in the early 1980s. Half the number has died, according to the health ministry.

There is some evidence suggesting circumcision decreases the chances of passing on the infection.

(Sapa, Henry Wasswa, November 2010)

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