Some people living with HIV and AIDS in South Sudan say they are suffering discrimination in the society.
In 2017, the UN-AIDs agency said stigma and discrimination against people living with HIV/AIDs is more rampant in South Sudan.
This was compared to even the prevalence rate of the disease itself.
Complex traditional cultures practiced by the local communities are reportedly contributing to the stigma.
UN-AIDS says cultural practices have also hindered HIV/AIDs preventative measures such as the use of condoms.
Civil societies, NGOs and religious leader have previously urged community members to give necessary support to people living with HIV/AIDs.
Every first of March each year, people celebrate the world zero discrimination day as an effort to recognize the fact that everyone should live a full and productive live with dignity.
It was organized in Juba under the theme ”Act to change laws that discriminate”.
Some people who are living with HIV and AIDS have called for an end to discrimination.
They say they should not be abandoned because they are part of the society:
“What always brings many people in South Sudan to be discriminated is just lack of love to the person living with HIV,” one of them said:
another said: “What hurts me the most is that there are some people when they see someone in the community, they start pointing at you. They talk bad about you and tarnish your reputation, they start telling everyone that the person is living with HIV/AIDS, this is not good.”
“That’s the challenge that limits many people to turn out for HIV testing,” she said
According to the national ministry of health – the rate in adult infection reduced in 2017 to 14,000 from 16,000 in 2016.
Meanwhile in children, it had gone down to 13,000 from 18,000 the same year.
HIV/AIDs is transmitted through sexual intercourse, sharing sharp objects and through mother to child.
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