Home | News    Monday 12 July 2010

Sudanese primary school expels HIV+ student: report

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July 11, 2010 (KHARTOUM) — A primary school principal in Sudan’s twin capital of Omdurman have expelled one of their students who is infected with HIV according to a newspaper report.

The Akhir-Lahza newspaper quoted the Secretary General of ’LIGHT’ organization Masha’er Mohamed Badawi as saying that the unidentified private school initially agreed to admit the child despite being aware of his health status.

However, a few days later the administration pulled the student aside and asked him to leave saying they do not want to take his responsibility or have him among his peers at school suggesting that the unnamed child poses a risk to them.

Badawi described the school’s action as a violation of the child’s rights as stipulated in the laws and conventions.

The students has contracted the infection from his father who has passed away.

There was no reaction from the education ministry on the decision by the school towards the student.

The issue of HIV/AIDS is to a large extent considered a taboo in Sudan and many of those who are diagnosed with it avoid getting treatment and counseling for fear of being stigmatized and discriminated against.

The epidemic remains a touchy subject in the Middle East region’s conservative & Islamic societies, due to its correlation with unprotected premarital and extramarital sex, men having sex with men without condoms, or prostitution and intravenous drug use.

Many of those infected in Sudan have told local newspapers anonymously the rejection they had encountered from their own families and the near non-existent possibility of getting a job or making a living.

In one instance a mid-age woman told of her story with a doctor who after telling her that she was HIV+ said she has nothing left but to go home and die.

As of 2009, the World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 320,000 people in Sudan are living with HIV with only 0.7% of those receiving Antiretroviral therapy (ART).

Last month a study by Laith Abu Raddad, director of the Biostatistics and Biomathematics Research Core at Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar indicated that HIV prevalence varies greatly between North and South Sudan.

“In north Sudan, we used to think in the past that we have a much more serious problem of HIV but now the data set is more complete, it’s clear that north Sudan really is quite similar to the rest of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) countries. But in south Sudan we may have a generalized epidemic,” Abu Raddad said.

A generalized epidemic is one that has spread beyond high-risk minority populations to the general population.

Officials from the former rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) have warned earlier this year that the post-conflict situation in the South is enabling its members to buy alcohol and sex.

"After peace was achieved, our soldiers began to receive regular payment, and with money comes the ability to buy alcohol, to buy sex," said Lt Col John Woja Elinana, head of the SPLA’s HIV secretariat. "With the increase in cross-border movement of people from high-prevalence countries like Uganda and Kenya, sex with women whose HIV status is not known is putting them [soldiers] at high risk.”

Many observers in Sudan have criticized the government saying it is not taking the issue of HIV prevention seriously. In 2006 a Sudanese lawmaker asked he health minister to apologize for proposing to distribute condoms to reduce HIV risks.

The then state minister of health Al-Fatih Saeed said that his ministry does hand out condoms but focuses on urging abstinence, preaching and following a moral conduct.

(ST)

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  • 12 July 2010 07:46, by Mr Famous Big_Logic_Boy

    Islamic arabs are always perjuries for conealing their pedophile act. How cann a child be HIV positive if he/she didn’t get in contact with an adult? Where is Muhaamed Ali who always support his gestapo arabs. Crap north sudan is not sfae for children particular girls. It seem like such assult and damaging of kid’s body is part of shria law. Albiet Kelip

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    • 12 July 2010 10:06, by peter marko

      First of all, the therapeutic antiretroviral regimens that are currently being used to treat HIV cases are called HAART - Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy, not ART as the writer of the article wrote.

      HAART is the name given to aggressive treatment regimens used to suppress HIV viral replication and the progression of HIV disease. The usual HAART regimen combines three or more different drugs such as two nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs) and a protease inhibitor (PI), two NRTIs and a non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NNRTI) or other such combinations. A typical HAART regimen is a combination of two nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs) and a protease inhibitor (PI), with NRTIs inhibiting the incorporation on viral RNA into human DNA through the reverse transcriptase process; Protease inhibitors (PIs) target viral assembly by inhibiting the activity of protease which is an enzyme used by HIV to cleave nascent proteins for final assembly of new virons.

      HAART regimens are a favorable choice to treat HIV cases because they have ability to overwhelm the viral resistance possibilities. Usually, all virus as well as cancerous cells resist the effectiveness of drugs by undergoing simultaneous mutation in their genome; and taking HAART regimens overwhelm the virus ability to undergo such mutation. These HAART regimens have proven to reduce the amount of active virus and in some cases can lower the number of active virus until it is undetectable by current blood testing techniques.

      Personally, I think this child should not be expelled from the school simply because he is HIV positive. Innocent affected children are not risk factor for spreading the disease. They, children, are themselves victims of the disease, so the society should sympathize with them, not traumatize them emotionally. Instead, the behavior of engaging in homosexual activities is the number one risk factor for spreading the disease, and the Northern societies should worry about such fact as homosexuality is a common practice among them.

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  • 12 July 2010 08:21, by DASODIKO

    Marry the medical Doctor from South Sudan in a workshop at Muggran Family park organized by UNMIS, told her experiences with HIV/AIDS awareness compains in North Sudan, in Aljaeera to do awareness. The following is her conversation with the man when she nock one of the doors and the forty years old man opened the door. The man asked: Aha what do you want? The man was thinking she was there to beg. I am not a begger, I am a HIV/AIDS instructor; she said. The man when heard the last AID; slammed the door on her face. Then again opened it with anger, and said; we are not resembling those of AIDS. Your are those of AIDS; he added, and closed the door. Marry nock the door again, and when the man came she said; Ihave listened to now you listen to me and I will leave after that. The man said Aha Shin Tagoul "What else do you have to say"? She said; Uncle I am a medical Doctor and HIV/AIDS is a desease doest know tribe or colour, if one of your daughters have a sex with HIV positive, if your dauhgter shave with blade of HIV positive, and if your daughters have blooded transfered or injected by needle of HIV positive. All these ways transfers the desease. Thanks and I am going. The man ran behind Marry, apologized and begged her to get in his house to meet his four daughters.

    Due to empty illusive self pride the North of Sudan may be a victim of Such deseases. The HIV/AIDS Is rampant but due to their culture can not make it public because its accusation for Muslims of committing adultery.

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  • 12 July 2010 17:05, by Kur

    This is how naive the Sudanese state is. There is no place for those who are disabled except dying in the trash. A country that does not take care of weak members of the society is doom to fail at some point. Taking care of the weak shows the level of human development in a society.

    Kur

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