Eastern Equatoria State Ranked Second In HIV/AIDS: Report

Western Equatoria State has the highest HIV/AIDS prevalence with 6.8 percent as Eastern Equatoria State is ranked second with 3.4 percent, the National Survey has revealed.

By Peter Lokale Nakimangole

TORIT, 26 March 2013 [Gurtong] –
 The states, according to the National Survey, with the lowest HIV/AIDS prevalence include Northern Bahr El Ghazal with 0.3 percent followed by Warrap, Lakes, Jonglei and Unity with 1.3 percent respectively.

However, the report indicates that South Sudan has recorded decrease on HIV/AIDS prevalence from 2.6 percent in 2012, compared to 3 percent in 2010, a difference of 0.4 percent.

The reports says every seven in a hundred 100 individuals in Western Equatoria are living with HIV/AIDS, a staggering number two times as many infections per population compared with the nearest highest infected state.

The reduction was detected by Antenatal Care Survey, a national exercise undertaken by the National Ministry of Health every two to three years to monitor the trend of HIV and Syphilis among pregnant women in Anti-Natal care facilities.

The National HIV/AIDS Commission Chairperson’s Esterina Novelo has described the reduction as a great achievement by her Commission and Ministry of Health though more was still needed to bring down prevalence of the virus.

She says lack of resources to purchase drugs for people living with virus remains a great challenge.

The Commission’s Chair notes that the surveillance data does not represent the general population but could be used as an input to develop an estimate of HIV prevalence among the general population.

Dr. Novelo reveals that the Government is committed to fight the pandemic in order to achieve the objective of zero HIV infections, zero discrimination and zero related deaths by 2017.

The observed HIV prevalence is the lowest report in the Country since 2007 when the first survey was conducted.

However, the report says, further analysis of temporal trends are needed to determine whether the change was significant.

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