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“Fewer people access HIV services due to the pandemic”, says head of ART center

The in charge of Antiretroviral Therapy or ART HIV/AIDs department at Juba teaching hospital said fewer people are now accessing HIV services due to coronavirus pandemic.

Addinda Drasa David stressed that people living with HIV are afraid of getting infected with the coronavirus since their immunity is already compromised.

She added many of the patients are afraid of movement due to the fear of contracting coronavirus.

Drasa encourages people to go for HIV screening in order to know their status.

The head of the ART center discourages stigmatizing people living with HIV because it impacts negatively on their lives.

“I want everybody to go and test for HIV, services are free and accessible in all government health facilities. I also want to tell people to stop stigmatizing people living with HIV. Because of stigma some people no longer come for their medicines,” Addinda explains.

Drasa appealed to people living with HIV to continue taking their medicines and always use condom in order not to get re-infected.

She also mentioned that in cases of rape, the survivor should be rushed to the hospital for immediate support to prevent the person from contracting HIV.

Angelina Doki is HIV positive and a Prevention of mother-to-child transmission or PMTCT counselor working at Juba Teaching Hospital encourages people who are HIV positive to learn to accept their results.

“The first thing to do is to accept your result because by doing so you will be able to start taking your ARVs and lead a long life. But living in self-denial may cause a lot of harm and even the person can easily die”, Angelina explains

Angelina is a mother of three girls and a widow, she knew about her HIV status back then in 2004 and since then she has been living a positive live.

She said at first it was difficult for her relative to accept that she is HIV positive but her mother has been very supportive.

According to UN AIDS in 2018 South Sudan has a total of 190, 000 people were living with HIV.

The report added HIV prevalence percentage among adults (15–49 years) was 2.5%. 19, 000 people were newly infected with HIV and 9,900 people died from an AIDS-related illness.

Yangi Justine
I'm a multimedia journalist with about ten years of experience in the broadcast media, founder of EMASS.


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