Angelo Kaggwa, a 29-year-old Ugandan and a program coordinator with AVAC, shared his personal experience with male circumcision with a packed audience comprised largely of Africans at an International AIDS Conference satellite symposium Monday night entitled, Call to Action for Voluntary Medical Male Circumcision for HIV Prevention.
“It took me eight years to do it since first considering it. I worried about pain and about wound healing period,” Kaggwa said. “I also worried about the cost, if I would have to make a choice between paying for my mother’s hypertension medication or getting circumcised.”
Ultimately the decision was made during a work trip to Kisumu, Kenya. Kaggwa visited a circumcision program and took note of a man going back to work right after being circumcised. Less than an hour later, after an HIV test and a counseling session, Kaggwa was on the table.
He is glad he did it and reassured by the partial HIV protection that will last him a lifetime. “Since telling my story about being circumcised, nine of my friends and family have been circumcised.”
Kaggwa called for African leadership to make this happen, and offered a shout out to His Excellency Chief Jonathan Mumena from the Republic of Zambia for his personal leadership.