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

Australia-Cambodia Resettlement Agreement Raises Concerns

Agreement calls for Cambodia to accept refugees in return for $35 million in aid and reflects Australia’s harder line approach towards asylum seekers and refugees More

India Looks to Become Arms Supplier Instead of Buyer

US hopes India can become alternative to China for countries looking to buy weapons, but experts question growth potential of Indian arms industry More

Earth Day Concert, Rally Draws Thousands in Washington

President Obama also took up the issue Saturday in his weekly address, saying there 'no greater threat to our planet than climate change' 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.
Are Energy Needs Putting Thailand's Natural Beauty at Risk?i
X
Steve Sandford
April 17, 2015 12:50 AM
Thailand's appetite for more electricity has led to the construction of new dams along the Mekong River to the north and new coal plants near the country's famous beaches in the south. A proposed coal plant in a so-called "green zone" has touched off a debate. VOA's Steve Sandford reports.
Video

Video Are Energy Needs Putting Thailand's Natural Beauty at Risk?

Thailand's appetite for more electricity has led to the construction of new dams along the Mekong River to the north and new coal plants near the country's famous beaches in the south. A proposed coal plant in a so-called "green zone" has touched off a debate. VOA's Steve Sandford reports.
Video

Video Overwhelmed by Migrants, Italy Mulls Military Action to Stabilize Libya

Thousands more migrants have arrived on the southern shores of Italy from North Africa in the past two days. Authorities say they expect the total number of arrivals this year to far exceed previous levels, and the government has said military action in Libya might be necessary to stem the flow. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Putin Accuses Kyiv of ‘Cutting Off’ Eastern Ukraine

Russian President Vladimir Putin, in his annual televised call-in program, again denied there were any Russian troops fighting in Ukraine. He also said the West was trying to ‘contain’ Russia with sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports on reactions to the president’s four-hour TV appearance.
Video

Video Eye Contact Secures Dog's Place in Human Heart

Dogs serve in the military, work with police and assist the disabled, and have been by our side for thousands of years serving as companions and loyal friends. We love them. They love us in return. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports on a new study that looks at the bio-chemical bond that cements that human-canine connection.
Video

Video Ukrainian Volunteers Search for Bodies of Missing Soldiers

As the cease-fire becomes more fragile in eastern Ukraine, a team of volunteer body collectors travels to the small village of Savur Mohyla in the what pro-Russian separatists call the Donetsk Peoples Republic - to retrieve bodies of fallen Ukrainian servicemen from rebel-held territories. Adam Bailes traveled with the team and has this report.
Video

Video Xenophobic Violence Sweeps South Africa

South Africa, long a haven for African immigrants, has been experiencing the worst xenophobic violence in years, with at least five people killed and hundreds displaced in recent weeks. From Johannesburg, VOA’s Anita Powell brings us this report.
Video

Video Sierra Leone President Koroma Bemoans Ebola Impact on Economy

In an interview with VOA's Shaka Ssali on Wednesday, President Ernest Koroma said the outbreak undermined his government’s efforts to boost and restructure the economy after years of civil war.
Video

Video Protester Lands Gyrocopter on Capitol Lawn

A 61-year-old mailman from Florida landed a small aircraft on the Capitol lawn in Washington to bring attention to campaign finance reform and what he says is government corruption. Wednesday's incident was one in a string of security breaches on U.S. government property. Zlatica Hoke reports the gyrocopter landing violated a no-fly zone.
Video

Video Apollo 13, NASA's 'Successful Failure,' Remembered

The Apollo 13 mission in 1970 was supposed to be NASA's third manned trip to the moon, but it became much more. On the flight's 45th anniversary, astronauts and flight directors gathered at Chicago's Adler Planetarium to talk about how the aborted mission changed manned spaceflight and continues to influence space exploration today. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video Badly Burned Ukrainian Boy Bravely Fights Back

A 9-year-old Ukrainian boy has returned to his native country after intensive treatment in the United States for life-threatening burns. Volodia Bubela, burned in a house fire almost a year ago, battled back at a Boston hospital, impressing doctors with his bravery. Faith Lapidus narrates this report from VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko.
Video

Video US Maternity Leave Benefits Much Less Than Many Countries

It was almost 20 years ago that representatives of 189 countries met at a UN conference in Beijing and adopted a plan of action to achieve gender equality around the world. Now, two decades later, the University of California Los Angeles World Policy Analysis Center has issued a report examining what the Beijing Platform for Action has achieved. From Los Angeles, Elizabeth Lee has more.
Video

Video Endangered Hawaiian Birds Get Second Chance

Of the world's nearly 9,900 bird species, 13 percent are threatened with extinction, according to BirdLife International. Among them are two Hawaiian honeycreepers - tiny birds that live in the forest canopy, and, as the name implies, survive on nectar from tropical flowers. Scientists at the San Diego Zoo report they have managed to hatch half a dozen of their chicks in captivity, raising hopes that the birds will flutter back from the brink of extinction. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Exhibit Brings Renaissance Master Out of the Shadows

The National Gallery of Art in Washington has raised the curtain on one of the most intriguing painters of the High Renaissance. Mostly ignored after his death in the early 1500s, Italian master Piero di Cosimo is now claiming his place alongside the best-known artists of the period. VOA’s Ardita Dunellari reports.
Video

Video Sidemen to Famous Blues Artists Record Their Own CD

Legendary blues singer BB King was briefly hospitalized last week and the 87-year-old “King of the Blues” may not be touring much anymore. But some of the musicians who have played with him and other blues legends have now released their own CD in an attempt to pass the torch to younger fans... and put their own talents out front as well. VOA’s Greg Flakus has followed this project over the past year and filed this report from Houston.
Video

Video Iran-Saudi Rivalry Is Stoking Conflict in Yemen

Iran has proposed a peace plan to end the conflict in Yemen, but the idea has received little support from regional rivals like Saudi Arabia. They accuse Tehran of backing the Houthi rebels, who have forced Yemen’s president to flee to Riyadh, and have taken over swaths of Yemen. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA, analysts say the conflict is being fueled by the Sunni-Shia rivalry between the two regional powers.

VOA Blogs