Stigma major cause of death for HIV/AIDS positive people
By Thomas Lodovico Oryem
The Human Immunodeficiency Virus and Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (HIV/AIDS) supervisor in Torit State Hospital, Ms. Florence Alfred said stigma is the major cause of death among people living with HIV/AIDS.
She said people living with HIV/AIDS do not want to disclose their health status to their partners or family members.
“Our people are really dying from the stigma. They fear being known that they are positive and they don’t want to inform the relatives and even their spouses,” Florence said. “It is the stigma that is killing our people due to over stress,” she added.
Ms. Alfred appealed to the general public in the state to accept those living with HIV/AIDS and avoid isolating them from their community. “One cannot be infected with HIV/AIDS if you share meal or drink together with an HIV/AIDS positive person,” she advised.
Nyoka Grace, working for a child mentor organization called on married couples to be faithful to their partners saying HIV is real and married people should be exemplary to those who are not married.
“Respect yourself, don’t accept to be lured to sex simply because of dollar that is not worth than your life and that person might be HIV positive you never know. Please protect yourself from being infected,” Ms. Grace said.
She advised women whose husbands are earning little money not to exchange their bodies for sex in order to get more money.
According to Torit State authorities, HIV/AIDS rate in the state is alarming. Last week, the state governor Tobiolo Alberio Oromo vowed to fight the deadly disease saying he was not ready to lead unhealthy population.
This Thursday, South Sudan HIV/AIDS Commission in partnership with United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) will be conducting a one day HIV and AIDS awareness and testing at the University of Juba and advises the students and the general public to go for testing in order to know their HIV status.