Speaker urges people to test for HIV/AIDS

 Anthony Lino Makana, Speaker of the Transitional National Legislative [File photo from Juba Monitor]

By Logonyi Denis

The speaker of the Transitional National Legislative Assembly (TNLA) has urged people to go for HIV/AIDS testing in order to know their status.

Anthony Lino Makana was addressing the August House on Monday during the meeting with UNAIDS team led by the Executive Director Michel Sidibe.

He cited areas such as saloons that are likely to be easy places for contracting HIV/AIDS and other related infections. Makana also added that it the responsibility of people especially the youth who are most likely to be the victims of the disease to go for test voluntarily.

He further advised that HIV is like any other disease and people should not fear to get tested as this will reduce on the rate of infections. He said when detected early the medical centres shall prescribe drugs for the treatment of the Virus.

He however appealed to the Executive director of UNAIDs to provide training to the parliamentarians who are influential and can become Trainers of trainees (TOTs) in their areas of representation.

Meanwhile Dr. Mitchel Sidibe the UNAIDS Executive Director who spoke at the same meeting said the parliamentarians are tasked with the responsibility of reaching to the communities they represent so as to create awareness about the cultural practices that pose serious danger in contracting HIV/AIDS.

He also asked the speaker to protect women against violence, giving them protection of human right, preventing adolescent early marriage, and provide good reproductive health in order to win the epidemic by allocating a budget that will be used to combat the disease through eradication programs.

Sidebe said When people do not have education they do not also have knowledge and information to protect themselves.

“So access to all these is a very important aspect,” Mr. Sidibe said yesterday during a meeting with the minister of health.

Sidibe came to Juba on Monday and travelled to Wau yesterday to assess the situation of the People living in the protection of civilian sites in Wau.

Sidibe’s visit was to raise urgency and profile of the HIV epidemic/response in the humanitarian situation in South Sudan nationally and globally.

UNAIDS estimates that there are 250000 thousand people leaving with HIV in the country, out of which only 24000 are on the ART treatment.



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