Health official encourages youth to ascertain their HIV Status before sex
By Bida Elly David
Central Equatoria State health official has called on young people to always know their HIV/AIDS status before engaging in sex to help them prevent the infection of the deadly disease.
Benjamin Lokiyo Lemi, CES Deputy Director for HIV/AIDS, said young people and all who are sexually need to come voluntarily for HIV/AIDS testing and receive advice on safe sex.
He said that there has been a drop in the number of young people coming for testing, adding that the trend was worrying as it could mean a lot of unaware young people spreading the disease.
The official said the only group of people coming for HIV tests were couples who want to marry, lovers who want to have sex, and students who want to go for education overseas through scholarships.
“I am encouraging young people outside there especially those who are sexually active to know their HIV status before having sex,
I want to clarify that the turn up for HIV test has been classified into a number of categories consisting of couples seeking to know their HIV status before marriage, lovers who want to have sex, students with an expectation to go for further studies overseas through scholarship and those who voluntarily go just to know their health status putting in account those who are sceptical regarding their health status,’’ Mr lemi said.
Lemi blamed the reluctance to go for testing on the stigmatisation of those carrying the disease by society.
The official said the state HIV/AIDS directorate has free programs, including treatment, feeding relief and general care to patients who are positive for the virus.