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Health officials launch HIV/AIDS testing drive in Unity state

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November 23, 2013 (BENTIU) - Health officials in South Sudan’s Unity state have started a week of voluntary counselling and testing (VCT) for HIV/AIDS in areas surrounding the capital, Bentiu.

Health officials declared on Saturday that the three free testing centre’s would be in Naivasha freedom square in Bentiu, Biemrouk and Bentiu Kalibalek markets.

Paul Mabany a state coordinator for the South Sudan Aids Commission said they were launching the programme before world AIDS day in order to let people know the importance of the occasion.

Mabany says continued awareness about HIV/AIDs in the community will help to reduce the spread of deadly sexually transmitted disease. He said some people are unwillingly to go public testing centres.

"Sometime the culture is something different not allowing people to use condoms, and you know stigma and discrimination is also another issue because people talking about it. They are still in hiding, they are not willing to share their HIV status in public" making it difficult for them to receive treatment, Mabany said in an interview with Sudan Tribune.

He warned young people between the ages 15 to 45 who are sexual active to immediately go for an HIV/AIDS to test at the VCT centres as knowing the result will help people "plan your future life", Mabany said.

Stephen Odera, an HIV/AIDS officer for the United Nation Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) which works as a partner with Unity state’s health ministry and South Sudan Aids Commission.

Awareness activities are often conducting in conjunction with sports and other actvities, he said.

Such competitions result in people asking about HIV/AIDS enabling the UN and health workers "to tell people actually more on what is going on”, added Odera.

Odera, who has worked on HIV/AIDS programmes in South Sudan since 2007 say frequent public campaigns on the dangers of the disease have improved the situation.

"Honestly I see a lot of improvement when I go back to from the time I started HIV programme in the country. When I try to compare there is a lot of improvement and still I can tell that we are heading somewhere but there still a lot to be done”, said Odera.

In Bentiu town over a dozen health officials are conducting voluntary counseling and testing mobilisation campaigns.

(ST)

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  • 24 November 2013 05:26, by Tutbol

    When did HIV/AIDS Became a Unity state disease on the tip of S Sudan, when the disease the was brewed in the Southern edge of Africa and the US? I hope these devils and their evil intentions are shown their right places; ’jails’.

    repondre message

    • 24 November 2013 05:52, by Mayok

      Mr. tubol, it’s seem to be impish and outlaw human. My advise to you is mind your own business if you ’re not a part this country because, here we care of our people neither than spending money in prostitution statistic.

      repondre message

  • 24 November 2013 05:36, by Mayok

    Leadership is lifting a person’s vision to high sights, the raising of a person’s performance to a higher standard, the building of a personality beyond its normal limitations and care. Thank to Unity State Officials.

    repondre message

  • 24 November 2013 05:54, by George Bol

    Western Upper Nile is a great name. I wonder how primitive think that the state should call liech state. Riek politic has gone for good, i have been warning you naath that you need not to step on salva tail, other you will be bitten with sharp teeth.

    repondre message

    • 24 November 2013 08:51, by Lotodo Awino Odug

      Why test people who do not like to use condom during intercourse? besides aids is just a joke in Bentiu.

      repondre message

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