HIV/AIDS: DOES NOT MEAN A THING TO SOUTH SUDANESE AT HOME

Gatwal Augustines,

Opinion:

hiv-aids2Jan 16, 2015(Nyamilepedia) — “One of my friends committed adultery last week. The three days I visited him in a police cell surprised me with shocking number of inmates who had committed adultery. The first day was 31 adulterers, second day was 14 adulterers, and the third day was 21 adulterers.

Their ages range from 20 – 38 years old. On average, at least 22 young men and women commits adultery every night/day. A similar number is bailed out every day. By multiplying the average number (22) by 366 days in a year, you will get the above shocking number (8,052) young men and women committing adultery every year in Bor town. If you are in Bor Town, please try to visit Bor town Police station, and verify the daily number of adulterers…..”


One Chol writes on 8/12/2014 in Paanluel with astonishing passion, grief and atonement. His rough estimation squarely entails the infidelity rate in Bor town alone whose population can barely reach hundredth (1/100) of the the whole country population.

Imagining such unfathomable number emerging with haste in such small town. What can possibly be the number of adulterers in other overcrowded urban centers and towns such as; Juba, Malakal, Bentiu, Yei, Rumbek, Torit to mention but the few? No doubt the number can be quite shocking and absurd indeed that you would not want to know.

Well, in my own opinion, the infidelity rate is directly proportional to HIV/AIDS contractions. Other contagious Sexual Transmitted Diseases, STDs surely infect these adulterers through the same mean and in the same rate. So, it logically means 8,052 young persons contract the deadly HIV/AIDS epidemic yearly, ONLY through sexual contacts in Bor town though not medically verified. Letting alone those who get infected in several other possible ways.  For instance, babies with infected parents are born positive with the Virus. Sharing of sharp objects, incisions which is a common practice in rural areas and other accidents that involve contact of body fluids.

Given the fact that nearly 75 percent of population in the country did not attend formal education and are illiterates, one can only imagine how difficult it is to sensitize and educate the rural population on HIV/AIDS prevalence. All South Sudanese apart from few folks are completely ignorance about HIV/AIDS existence and majority of them hardly know their HIV/AIDS status. The government is doing just little to curb the disease from swiping out the population. And medical reports reveal that most government officials do not know their status and are likely to be positive since they use country money in exchange for unprotected sex from foreign ladies.

So it is very unfortunate that South Sudanese die in large numbers not only because of highly organized massacred but also die of ignorance from killer diseases such as HIV/AIDS. Death in South Sudan has numerous causing factors that range from gun barrels wars, unattended for diseases, and starvation.

If we cannot save those who perish timely in the front lines and other war related situations in South Sudan, at least let us save those who are about to kiss life goodbye because of deadly HIV/AIDS. It is a collective responsibility that everyone should partake.

Cause of HIV/AIDS

The HIV infection is caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).

After HIV is in the body, it starts to destroy CD4+ cells, which are white blood cells that help the body fight infection and disease.

HIV is spread when blood, semen, or vaginal fluids from an infected person enter another person’s body, usually through sexual contact, from sharing needles when injecting drugs, or from mother to baby during birth.

Early Signs and Symptoms of HIV

Some people experience signs and symptoms of HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus), as soon as they become infected, while others do not. When they occur, early signs and symptoms are often mistaken for the flu or a mild viral infection. Initial signs and symptoms of HIV include:

  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Tiredness
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea

Sub-Saharan Africa has the most serious HIV and AIDS epidemic in the world. In 2012, roughly 25 million people were living with HIV, accounting for nearly 70 percent of the global total. In the same year, there were an estimated 1.6 million new HIV infections and 1.2 million AIDS-related deaths. 1

As a result, the epidemic has had widespread social and economic consequences, not only in the health sector but also in education, industry and the wider economy.

HIV prevalence in sub-Saharan Africa

HIV prevalence varies greatly between regions in sub-Saharan Africa as well as individual countries. 2

HIV prevalence in selected countries across sub-Saharan Africa in 2012

Country HIV Prevalence (%)
Southern Africa:
South Africa 17.9
Botswana 23
Swaziland 26.5
West Africa:
Senegal 0.5
Cameroon 4.5
Nigeria 3.1
East Africa:
Kenya 6.1
Uganda 7.2
Tanzania 5.1

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