Circumcision ban to prevent HIV infection

A threat by Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni to ban the traditional circumcision of boys so as to curb the spread of HIV/AIDS has drawn strong reaction from the country's traditional healers.

Some traditionalists have warned that such a move could be regarded as interference in cultural practices and would be strongly resisted.

However, Museveni told the local newspaper, New Vision, that the cultural practice of circumcision endangered the lives of youths by spreading HIV/AIDS.

"I do not care about losing votes ... I cannot look for votes from people who may die tomorrow after getting infected during the circumcision rituals," Museveni said.

The president suggested that qualified medical personnel carry out the circumcisions, despite traditionalists saying they were now taking the necessary steps to minimise the possibility of HIV transmission during such rituals.