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UNAIDS says stigmatization of HIV/AIDS still high

By:  Elia Joseph Loful

United Nations AIDS (UNAIDS) said on Monday, stigma and discrimination on HIV prevention is still the highest barrier among adolescent girls and women in the country.

In a press statement released on Monday a head of world “Zero Discrimination Day”, slated for 1 March next week, UNAIDS Country Director Dr. Sophia Mukasa Monica attributed the matter to ignorance among many people in the society.

“Stigma and discrimination is one of the highest barriers to HIV prevention care among adolescent girls and young women in South Sudan.  In fact the high level of stigma and discrimination in South Sudan is just due to inadequate of knowledge, Dr. Sophia stated.

She said the day would help to create a global movement of solidarity aim at ending all forms of discriminations.

“Zero discrimination Day provides an opportunity to highlight how everyone can be a part of transformation and take stand towards  a more fair and just society,” she added.

She further revealed that discrimination and gender inequality still remain a huge challenge for women and girls in the country with serious impact on AIDS responses.

“In South Sudan the stigma around HIV infection within the community exacerbates the already limited capacity to report cases of gender based violence and access to HIV treatment,” she said.

According to the research carried out by Journal of Community Medicine and Health Education in 2015 in Juba,  it stated that 27.50 % of people living with HIV/AIDS  could not disclosed their status to their partners due to fear of being immoral.  

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