Ugandan army winning hearts, minds and foreskins
KAMPALA (AFP) - Ugandan troops have been marking national army week celebrations with a public health drive that includes distributing condoms and circumcising men as part of efforts to battle Aids.
"There are several activities that we are doing. Among them is medical outreach. The UPDF (Uganda People's Defence Force) is a unique army. It is unique is many respects," army spokesman Paddy Ankunda said on Tuesday.
"Circumcision is a proven method to reducing the risk of HIV/Aids and we think that by doing that our people will reduce the risk of infection," he told AFP, adding that army doctors have in recent days carried out 330 circumcisions, 630 HIV tests and distributed 43,500 condoms.
Scientists have found that male circumcision can significantly reduce the chances of HIV infection because the foreskin has a higher concentration of HIV-receptors than the rest of the penis and is prone to tears during intercourse, providing for a HIV entry point.