Over 259 students drawn from different secondary schools in Teso have undergone safe male circumcision.
The one week safe male circumcision exercise is spearheaded by the Ministry of Health and Bayalor Uganda is being conducted in Ngora High School targeting an estimated 1000 students.
This was revealed by Dr. Barbra Nanteza, the HIV Prevention Officer at the Ministry of Health, during the launch of the exercise in Teso on Sunday (22 April 2012).
“In this particular camp, we had targeted 1000 students but we have registered 1023. The Ministry of Health is pushing on with ‘prevention’ because prevention is better than cure. But even when you are circumcised, it does not mean that your are now safe and you cannot get HIV”, Dr. Nanteza said.
Speaking at the same function, Dr. Jushua Musinguzi, the acting programme manager at the Aids Control Programme in the Ministry of Health, revealed that a just concluded nationwide survey has found that 129,000 new infections are occurring in Uganda annually.
“The survey showed that 6.7% of adult population aged between 15 to 49 years is infected with HIV/AIDS. The big burden of 7.7% is born by the women aged between 15 to 49 years…compared to 5.6% among men. Urban areas are more affected than the rural areas,” Dr. Musinguzi said.
Dr.Musinguzi said in the North East area covering Teso and Karamoja, HIV prevalence is 5.8%, slightly lower that the national average.
He added that out of 1.2 million Ugandans who are HIV infected, 577,000 require antiretroviral treatment because their immunity has been destroyed.
“And yet as we speak, we only have 57% of those people who need treatment [on antiretrovirals] leaving 331,000 others requiring treatment, so the figures and the burden of the epidemic is big.”
The function was presided over by the Minister of State for Teso Affairs, Hon Christine Amongin Aporu and was attended by Ngora Woman MP, Jacqueline Amongin, RDCs and LC5 chairperson from Teso.