Low Awareness Blamed For HIV/AIDs Spread

The UNAIDS in 2012 credited the drop in Aids-related deaths to greater access to antiretroviral therapy [AFP/File, Stephane de Sakutin]

Mrs. Florence Alfred, Voluntary Counselling and Testing, (VCT) officer in Torit State Hospital made this observation during a consultative meeting at Torit Community Health Resource Centre.

They have also blamed citizens especially a section of youth who are victims on the dangers of the disease due to uncontrolled commercial sex in towns.

The Voluntary Counseling and Testing (VCT) officer urges media houses in Eastern Equatoria to initiate programs to sensitize citizen on the dangers and effects of HIV/ AIDS.

She adds that the spread of HIV/AIDS is rampant saying the fact that the disease does not kill immediately; it attracts opportunistic infections such as Tuberculoses and diarrhoea among others.

Torit Community Health Resource Centre Manager, Mr. Mark Okongo says his facility has been established to created opportunity for special service such as Post Test Clubs, HIV/AIDS prevention and stigma reduction.

The Eastern Equatoria state Ministry of Health established Torit Community Health Resource Center through partnership support with NGOs, community Base Organizations, and Civil Society Organization.

Journalists from various media houses in Eastern Equatoria State and Volunteers attended the HIV/AIDS stakeholders’ consultation meeting held in Torit on Monday.

In March during a launch the Antenatal Clinic (ANC) surveillance report of 2012, the health ministry announced a reduction of 0.4% in HIV/AIDS prevalence in South Sudan.

The National Deputy Minister of Health Dr. Yatta Lori Lugor presided over the launch of the report that aimed at determining the prevalence and correlates of HIV and syphilis among pregnant women attending antenatal care in South Sudan and provide information for advocacy, HIV/AIDS programme and evaluation.

The report shows the Greater Equatoria region with highest rates with Western, Eastern and Central Equatoria states at 6.8%, 3.4% and 2.6% respectively.

Jonglei State has a rate of 1.3%, Lakes 2.3%, Western Bar El Ghazal 1.4%, Warrap 1.3%, Unity 1.3%, Upper Nile 2.1% and Northern Bar El Ghazal with the lowest rate of 0.3%.

Consistence in manning the use of the ABC strategy (Abstinence, Be faithful and use Condom) need to be encouraged further though the report shows many South Sudanese are using it well.

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