News / Africa

HIV in South Sudan Army Twice National Rate

An aid worker [C] talks to Sudanese soldiers and scouts on how to spread the message on HIV/AIDS at an internally displaced camp in Juba, southern Sudan, October 2005. (file photo)An aid worker [C] talks to Sudanese soldiers and scouts on how to spread the message on HIV/AIDS at an internally displaced camp in Juba, southern Sudan, October 2005. (file photo)
x
An aid worker [C] talks to Sudanese soldiers and scouts on how to spread the message on HIV/AIDS at an internally displaced camp in Juba, southern Sudan, October 2005. (file photo)
An aid worker [C] talks to Sudanese soldiers and scouts on how to spread the message on HIV/AIDS at an internally displaced camp in Juba, southern Sudan, October 2005. (file photo)
Bonifacio Taban
The HIV infection rate among soldiers in the South Sudanese army is nearly twice the national average, the head of the country's AIDS Commission has said, citing recently released data.

Esterina Novello Nyliok, the head of the South Sudan AIDS Commission, said data from 2012 show the HIV rate in the SPLA, the South Sudanese army, stands at five percent, or nearly double the national rate of 2.6 percent.

The commission gathered data for the first time in 2012 about the rate of HIV infection in the armed forces, she said.

Dau Aleer Abit, the commander of the SPLA’s medical corps, said many soldiers do not take steps to prevent HIV transmission, but added that the SPLA is working to increase awareness among soldiers about how HIV is spread.

The number of HIV awareness units will be boosted from 20 to 43, he said. Each unit will be stationed at a base and will be staffed by nine officers, who will be recruited from within the ranks of the army.

The units provide anti-retroviral drugs for HIV-positive soldiers and test for the virus, among other services, but, Abit said, soldiers don't avail themselves of the services of the units on a regular basis, largely because of the stigma and shame associated with being HIV-positive.

"The stigma that somebody is labeled to have HIV, usually makes people shy away" from testing, he said.

Nationally, South Sudan saw a drop in the rate of infection with HIV/AIDS in 2012, from three percent to 2.6 percent, government statistics released in March show. 

The country has set itself the goal of having zero new infections and zero AIDS-related deaths by 2017.

You May Like

Brutality Eroding IS Financial Support

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper says IS's penchant for publicizing beheadings, other brutal forms of punishment hurts group’s bottom line More

Studies: Climate Change a Factor in Disasters in Syria, California

Studies point to possibility of clear and present dangers from a threat often considered to be far in the future More

Video Afghan Refugees Complain of Harassment in Pakistan

Afghan officials and human rights organizations assert that Pakistani authorities are using deadly attack at school in Peshawar as pretext to push out Afghan refugees More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Koma Lioga from: Pageri Payam, Magwi Count
May 07, 2013 3:41 AM
its sad to see rate of HIV/AIDS infection for our national army has doubled national rate. More efforts should be put in place to educate our national army population including their families. I wish to attribute this our national army population that, most sex workers operate in the country are not trusted. They should avoid going to them or make proper and consistent use of condoms. Our government needs to establish an ACT that will restrict commercial sex workers especially those operating near barracks. Those found positive should not give up since that is not the end of life. They should rather turn to be counselors or peer educators so that, their colleagues change. If they tend to revenge, one should know that your revenge will come back to you directly or indirectly to family members hence will make hard to win the battle. For us to attain set goal by our government, collective responsibility is paramount.
My final word is let us encourage and support HIV/AIDS patients and stop called them "victims". I have seen in many a time, they are called victims which is bad connotation making them to shy away or take revenge.
I worked as HIV/AIDS project officer with one of our CBOs back in the village and our target group was "commercial sex workers". with this name, they were hiding since one told me doing such business is not Lawful. it forced them to hide. This to me has great impact as far as HIV/AIDS virus transmission is concerned as our people get their ways to reach them including our armies. For example in Nimule,in my own assessment at checkpoint in 2011, the out come was that, people make contribution to go for one sex-workers and prefer not to use condoms. She cited comparison some of their customers gave was, "How can you enjoy eating sweets with its cover". This is an indicator that, lot needs to be done.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Kerry Seeks Assurances of Russian Non-Interference in Ukrainei
X
March 03, 2015 3:11 AM
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has told his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, that his country could face further consequences to what he called its “already strained economy” if Moscow does not fully comply with a cease-fire in Ukraine. The two met, on Monday, on the sidelines of a U.N. Human Rights Council meeting in Geneva, where Kerry outlined human rights violations in Russian-annexed Crimea and eastern Ukraine. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports from Geneva.
Video

Video Kerry Seeks Assurances of Russian Non-Interference in Ukraine

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has told his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, that his country could face further consequences to what he called its “already strained economy” if Moscow does not fully comply with a cease-fire in Ukraine. The two met, on Monday, on the sidelines of a U.N. Human Rights Council meeting in Geneva, where Kerry outlined human rights violations in Russian-annexed Crimea and eastern Ukraine. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports from Geneva.
Video

Video Smartphones May Help in Diagnosing HIV

Diagnosing infections such as HIV requires expensive clinical tests, making the procedure too costly for many poor patients or those living in remote areas. But a new technology called lab-on-a-chip may make the tests more accessible to many. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Refugees Complain of Harassment in Pakistan

Afghan officials have expressed concern over reports of a crackdown on Afghan refugees in Pakistan following the Peshawar school attack in December. Reports of mass arrests and police harassment coupled with fear of an uncertain future are making life difficult for a population that fled its homeland to escape war. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports from Islamabad.
Video

Video Ukrainian Volunteers Prepare to Defend Mariupol

Despite the ongoing ceasefire in Ukraine, soldiers in the city of Mariupol fear that pro-Russian separatists may be getting ready to attack. The separatists must take or encircle the city if they wish to gain land access to Crimea, which was annexed by Russia early last year. But Ukrainian forces, many of them volunteers, say they are determined to defend it. Patrick Wells reports from Mariupol.
Video

Video Moscow Restaurants Suffer in Bad Economy, Look for Opportunity

As low oil prices and Western sanctions force Russia's economy into recession, thousands of Moscow restaurants are expected to close their doors. Restaurant owners face rents tied to foreign currency, while rising food prices mean Russians are spending less when they dine out. One entrepreneur in Moscow has started a dinner kit delivery service for those who want to cook at home to save money but not skimp on quality. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video US, Cuba Report Progress in Latest Talks to Restore Ties

The United States and Cuba say they have made progress in the second round of talks on restoring diplomatic relations more than 50 years after breaking off ties. Delegations from both sides met in Washington on Friday to work on opening embassies in Havana and Washington and iron out key obstacles to historic change. VOA’s Mary Alice Salinas reports from the State Department.
Video

Video Presidential Hopefuls Battle for Conservative Hearts and Minds

One after another, presumptive Republican presidential contenders auditioned for conservative support this week at the Conservative Political Action Conference held outside Washington. The rhetoric was tough as a large field of potential candidates tried to woo conservative support with red-meat attacks on President Barack Obama and Democrats in Congress. VOA Political Columnist Jim Malone takes a look.
Video

Video NYC's Restaurant Week: An Economic Boom in Fine Dining

New Yorkers take pride in setting world trends — in fashion, the arts and fine dining. The city’s famous biannual Restaurant Week plays a significant role in a booming tourism industry that sustains 359,000 jobs and generates $61 billion in yearly revenue. VOA's Ramon Taylor reports.
Video

Video Brookhaven at Cutting Edge of US Energy Research

Issues like the Keystone XL pipeline, fracking and instability in the Middle East are driving debate in the U.S. about making America energy independent. Recently, the American Energy Innovation Council urged Congress and the White House to make expanded energy research a priority. One beneficiary of increased energy spending would be the Brookhaven National Lab, where clean, renewable, efficient energy is the goal. VOA's Bernard Shusman reports.
Video

Video Southern US Cities Preserve Civil Rights Heritage to Boost Tourism

There has been a surge of interest in the American civil rights movement of the 1950s and '60s, thanks in part to the Hollywood motion picture "Selma." Five decades later, communities in the South are embracing the dark chapters of their past with hopes of luring tourism dollars. VOA's Chris Simkins reports.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More