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

Unpaid Kurdish Fighters Sign of Economic Woes

Sharp cuts in Kurdistan's budget by Baghdad, falling oil revenue, coping with refugees, inflated public sector have hit regional economy hard More

Koreas Exchange List of Envoys for Family Reunion Talks

Officials will discuss date, venue and number of participants for reunion; Seoul hopes to hold event late this month More

China Targets 197 in Online Speech Crackdown

Nearly 200 punished for 'spreading rumors' online in ongoing crackdown on free speech 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.
Calais School Offers Another Face of Europe’s Migrant Crisisi
X
Lisa Bryant
September 02, 2015 6:19 PM
Europe is facing mounting criticism over how it’s handling its biggest migration crisis since World War II. But not all Europeans believe building walls or passing repressive policies are the answer. A school for migrants in the French port city of Calais, is opening doors and building bonds across nationalities. VOA's Lisa Bryant reports.
Video

Video Calais School Offers Another Face of Europe’s Migrant Crisis

Europe is facing mounting criticism over how it’s handling its biggest migration crisis since World War II. But not all Europeans believe building walls or passing repressive policies are the answer. A school for migrants in the French port city of Calais, is opening doors and building bonds across nationalities. VOA's Lisa Bryant reports.
Video

Video Russia-Japan Relations Cool as Putin Visits China for WWII Anniversary

Russian President Vladimir Putin is in Beijing for commemorations of the 70th anniversary of China's WWII victory over Japan. Putin is expected to visit Japan later this year, but tensions between Tokyo and Moscow over islands disputed since the war, and sanctions over Ukraine, could pour cold water on the plan. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Kurdish Fighters on IS Frontline Ready for Offensive

Finger on the trigger, the Kurdish Peshmerga soldier stared across the dust at a village taken over by Islamic State extremists. The Kurdistan’s Khazir frontline, just 45 minutes from the Islamic State stronghold of Mosul. And at this point, the militants were less than two kilometers away. VOA's Sharon Behn reports.
Video

Video Yemen ‘on Brink of Disaster’ as Medical Shortages Soar

Aid agencies warn Yemen is on the brink of humanitarian disaster – with up to half a million children facing severe malnutrition, and hospitals running out of basic medicines. There are fears Yemen's civil war could escalate as the coalition led by Saudi Arabia tries to drive back Houthi rebels, who seized control of much of the country earlier this year. Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Apps Helping Kenyan Businesses Stay Ahead of Counterfeiters

Counterfeit goods in Kenya cost the government as much as $1 billion each year in lost tax revenues. The fake goods also hurt entrepreneurs who find it hard to carve out a niche in the market and retain customers. But as Lenny Ruvaga reports from Nairobi, information technology is being used to try to beat the problem.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.

VOA Blogs