South Sudan - HIV/AIDS Prevalence
The 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), ended 22 years of civil war but brought with it a range of formidable social problems and health related challenges such as HIV/AIDS.
The peace deal allowed the the return of refugees from Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda and other surrounding countries with higher rates of HIV than South Sudan, which was largely cut off from the outside world during the civil war, has increased the risk of HIV infection in the world’s youngest nation.
According to the South Sudan Medical Journal:
High risk behaviours resulting from poverty and certain cultural practices of different communities including returnees and people from neighbouring countries, and high incidences of STIs aggravated by poor access to and/or low coverage of health services further contribute to the spread of the HIV. However, knowledge of prevention methods and where to get help is a critical first step towards addressing some of these key drivers.
Other effects of peace are increased trade and commercial activities across borders (especially increased traffic of trucks and other vehicles along the trans-African Highway), reconstruction and rehabilitation activities, relative peace and affluence coupled with cultural religious and tribal traditions all of which may contribute to the risk of HIV in the post war era.
South Sudan Medical Journal, HIV prevalence in South Sudan: data from the ANC sentinel surveillance 2009, August 2011.
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