HIV/AIDS Among Pregnant Women On Increase In Jonglei State: Official

The number of HIV/AIDS cases among pregnant women tested at Bor Civil Hospital has increased, an official has said.

HIV/AIDS Among Pregnant Women On Increase In Jonglei State: Official
The UNAIDS in 2012 credited the drop in Aids-related deaths to greater access to antiretroviral therapy [AFP/File, Stephane de Sakutin]

By Jacob Achiek Jok

BOR, 16 October 2013 [Gurtong] – Peter Malith Majok, a coordinator for Jonglei state HIV/AIDS said the increase is because there has been an influx of people from their villages to Bor town due to fear of insecurity and that Bor has high commercial sex practices.

The number of the positive pregnant mothers recorded has increased from two to 15 a month in which five percent out of 400 women tested monthly are found to be HIV positive.

He said that in the state capital female Sexual workers are very common and they are all from east Africa, operating the lodges, adding that some young men from the cattle camps who have unprotected sex with prostitutes end up infecting their wives.

He said that majority of sex workers refuse to use condoms and youth also rejected condom use.

Malith said the youth are easily lured to sex with prostitutes because it is cheap and the young men do not have to bargain hard with the sex workers as they do with local girls who insist on marriage.

The price can be as low as 10 South Sudanese pounds for a quick round, he said.

In May, Jonglei State Ministry of Health and Environment announced running short of condoms at the HIV/AIDS department, a factor which could lead to a sharp increase in sexually transmitted infections.

A Volunteer Counselling and Testing senior counsellor, Malual Abraham said that ministry did not receive any supply of condoms from United Nations (UN) agencies since December 2012.

During the voluntary testing and counselling made between January and March, 36 people were tested and 12 were confirmed positive early this year.

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 report was aimed at determining the prevalence and correlates of HIV and syphilis among pregnant women attending antenatal care in South Sudan and provided information for advocacy, HIV/AIDS programme and evaluation.

The report showed 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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