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Last Updated: Wednesday, 3 January 2007, 11:00 GMT
Ugandan men getting circumcised
Infected cell
Foreskin cells are thought to be more vulnerable to HIV infection
Growing numbers of Ugandan men are being circumcised, after medical research showed it could halve the HIV infection rate among heterosexual men.

A Ugandan paper reports that last year of 2,500 people circumcised at various clinics, half of them were male adults, compared to less than 400 in 2005.

A hospital official said they were increasing their provision to cope.

Uganda is often held up as a model of how to fight HIV/Aids, with infection rates falling from 15 to 5%.

Studies conducted by the US National Institutes of Health last year, found new HIV infections among circumcised heterosexual men in Uganda and Kenya had dropped by approximately 50%.

The findings were hailed as a breakthrough.

Uganda's Health Ministry has set up a committee to scrutinise the research findings before they come up with a circumcision policy.

"The government is cautious about these findings to avoid a situation whereby people become reckless in belief that after circumcision they can not contract the virus," said the BBC's Ally Mutasa in Kampala.

The Director of Kibuli Muslim hospital Dr Mahmoud El Gazar said they were affected by the increasing numbers of clinical male circumcisions being demanded.

"We carry out circumcision two days a week but we are contemplating adding another day," he told Uganda's Daily Monitor newspaper.

Our reporter says increased demand for circumcision is also being attributed to the conversion of some men to Islam.

Few cultural groups in Uganda circumcise boys before they are accepted as men in the society, but researchers say the HIV infection patterns in the country appear to be similar in both circumcising and non-circumcising groups.

Circumcision 'reduces HIV risk'
25 Oct 05 |  Health
Aids risk 'cut by circumcision'
26 Mar 04 |  Health
27 Feb 06 |  Medical notes

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