Uganda's Military to Exclude HIV-Positive Soldiers From Strenuous Training
April 4, 2006
HIV-positive soldiers in Uganda's army will be barred from strenuous training, Chief of Operations and Training Brig. Silver Moses Kayemba announced today. "The army has many different types of training, some of them, like marine training, are extremely hard," said Kayemba. "Someone with HIV would not be able to keep up and it would probably reduce their life," he said, adding that HIV-positive troops will still attend other types of training, including for administration, finance, intelligence, and medical corps.
Uganda's AIDS Support Organization, the country's largest HIV/AIDS charity group, criticized the decision as discriminatory. "If people want to work in the army and they are in good physical condition, it is simply not ethical to say they should be left out," said Robert Mkabala of the group, which is globally recognized as a leader and innovator in HIV/AIDS care and support.
Mkabala acknowledged that the living conditions in the battlefield are not ideal for HIV treatment regimens. "There needs to be counseling to let HIV-positive recruits know what they are going to put through," he said. "At the end of the day, they need to make their own, informed decision."
04.04.06; Katy Pownall
This article was provided by U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update. Visit the CDC's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.