The Ministry of Health will later this year launch a sensitization campaign on the importance of circumcision in controlling the spread of sexually transmitted diseases-STD's and HIV/AIDS. The Counseling and Testing, National Coordinator, Zainab Akol, says a study is being carried out in Rakai district, to find out the possibility of using circumcision as a preventive measure against STD's and HIV/AIDS. Akol says the study involves 5,000 previously uncircumcised men in Rakai, a region where there is not a traditional circumcision practice. Half of the men have subsequently been circumcised, and the others have their foreskins intact. Akol says that at the end of the trial slated for September 2007, researchers will tally up the number of men who have become HIV-positive and those who remain negative in both groups. Researchers at Johns Hopkins University and Columbia are leading the Rakai study. A similar study was conducted in South Africa last year indicated that circumcision reduced HIV transmission by close to 70 percent. A similar research is being carried out in Kisumu in Kenya. Akol said that circumcision campaigns will be part of the counseling programmes. Under the campaigns, parents will be encouraged to circumcise their children as a health measure. Circumcision in Uganda has until recently been considered a cultural reserve for the people in eastern Uganda.