[Dip. Law (First Class)–LDC; Cert. PELD–NALI-K; LLB Student–Mak]
After several procrastinations and unfulfilled personal promises, I went for Safe Male Circumcision (SMC) at Makerere University Hospital, on Friday, February 17th, 2012. I overcame my fear me and took the bold decision to face the surgeon’s knife. I thought I would quit before the end of the operation, but I persevered to the end. Actually, to be honest, I did not at any one moment believe that I was finally undergoing this widely dreaded exercise, not until it was done and over!
It all stated on Thursday, 16th February, 2012, when I visited the University hospital for a Post Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP) confirmatory test. After testing HIV negative, my counsellors advised and encouraged me to go for medical circumcision as an extra measure against contracting HIV. I expressed my usual fears but they assured me that it was both 100% safe and free. I reluctantly agreed and promised them that I would come the next day, upon which they thanked me in advance for making the right decision.
Thereafter, I seriously pondered this matter. Having consulted a few friends of mine including, Sserwaniko Henry, who assured me that the whole thing was truly safe and good to go for, I made the decision to show up the next day, early in the morning. My decision was mainly for two reasons: improving personal hygiene and the fun of getting circumcised. The argument that circumcision reduces chances of HIV infection by 60% has never impressed me much because this is not some sort of immunity from or vaccination against getting infected. Besides, 40% chances of infection is too high a figure for anyone in their proper senses to gamble about.
I was at the hospital by 7:45 am early next morning and I was both impressed and shocked by the huge number of youth turning up for circumcision. At about 8:15 am, we started off with what was conveniently termed as a “pre-circumcision counselling session”, during which we expressed our fears and expectations about the whole exercise, had them responded to by the counsellor and received information on post-circumcision hygiene and care as well as the benefits of circumcision.
Then we had to go through a fairly lengthy and elaborate process of medical tests and documentation, after which we were ready to go to the theatre for the operation. Truth be told, all this time I was scared and fearful of the unknown, but through prayer, I relied on God’s grace to be strong, calm and courageous enough to fully undergo the operation. In the theatre, a dose of anaesthesia was administered on my penis to ‘kill’ pain and after some time, I finally lay on the surgical bed to be operated upon. The exercise was quick, painless and incredibly exciting to go through. By 12:35 pm, it was finished and after receiving a dose of paracetamol (panadol) pain killers, I was told to go and come back after one week for follow up. I discovered later, that I was the 4407th person to be circumcised at this hospital!
Within two weeks, I was completely healed, without any complications whatsoever. I lived a normal life including attending my lectures everyday, without hindrance. One month later, I have never regretted my decision to go for Safe Male Circumcision. In fact, now I live a more fulfilling and rewarding life and for this reason therefore, I recommend SMC as every man’s way to go.