Hundreds of Unity State citizens gathered at Bentiu Independence Stadium last Thursday to celebrate the World AIDS Day for the first time since South Sudan’s independence in July 2011.
The celebration aimed to create awareness and advocacy against the rampant widespread of HIV and AIDS to the people of South Sudan. Various speakers spoke on how this disease should be prevented.
‘’The people of South Sudan must take a serious action against HIV and AIDS because there is no proper cure,’’ said the Deputy Governor of Unity State Mr. William Daud Riek
Riek also urged the citizens to go for testing at the volunteering, cancelling and testing (VCT) centres in Bentiu town and Leer County.
The State Health Minister Mr. Deburah Ajok disclosed that, “the State Ministry of Health and other health partners will continue the fight against HIV and AIDS endemic till it reduces by 2015, the need for advocacy and awareness will be carried out throughout the State right from the State capital down to Bomas level and testing will be properly followed up.’’
“222 cases have been identified to be living with HIV and AIDS majority of whom are women,” said Rebecca Geay Majok the Health representative in Unity State Legislative Assembly.
Geay added that, “the use of condoms should not be ignored although it’s not hundred percent it can ease the widespread of the disease.’’
“Getting in to zero new infection by 2015 would not happen without commitment to fight the disease,” said Taban Francis, South Sudan HIV and AIDS Commission representative to Unity State.
One of the UN Representatives said, “the use of mobilization resource is one of the problems because some of this money ends up somewhere without fulfilling the need of the people, even if people have little knowledge about HIV and AIDS there is a need for sanitization of it and to mobilize the people to adopt the preventive majors.’’
While at the stadium, many people participated and lined up for testing and majority of them will go for testing at the VCT centre in Bentiu Civil Hospital.
The celebration was also attended by the top government officials headed by the Deputy Governor, Ministers, Advisors, MPs, Organized forces, schools, churches among other groups.