Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni on Tuesday at a Youth Activist Forum said circumcision should not be promoted as a way to prevent HIV transmission because it could encourage recklessness among youth, Uganda's New Vision reports.
At the conference, which 500 youth delegates attended, Museveni said he would continue to promote the ABC strategy for HIV prevention, which stands for abstinence, be faithful and use condoms. He said that some nongovernmental organizations "have been saying rubbish about circumcision, but I will continue encouraging the youth to abstain." Museveni added that he would rather youth use condoms "as a fall-back position but not rely on circumcision." Museveni also encouraged youth to get married immediately after finishing their education.
The forum was organized by the Global Forum for International Cooperation ahead of the Commonwealth Youth Forum, which will take place in Kampala, Uganda, later this month, the New Vision reports (Ahimbisibwe, New Vision, 11/8).
In related news, Botswana President Festus Mogae on Tuesday during a two-day conference for journalists encouraged men in the country to be circumcised after receiving an HIV test, Botswana's Mmegi reports. He added that the government is developing guidelines on circumcision but cautioned that HIV transmission still is possible after undergoing the procedure. Mogae said he is "open-minded" about the procedure, adding, "Let's try it."
Mogae called on the journalists attending the conference to promote abstinence and routine HIV testing. He added that although HIV awareness has increased and the country has been successful in providing HIV treatment, more action is necessary to eradicate the disease in the country (Chwaane, Mmegi
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