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AIDS patients suffer stigma, discrimination

Author : | Published: November 28, 2016

Stigma and discrimination against HIV/AIDS patients is more rampant in the country, compared to even the prevalence rate of the disease its self, the United Nations AIDS agency has said.

It says this is mainly because of complex traditional cultures practiced by the local communities.

“If you are identified as HIV positive, you are chased from home or you are denied all your basic rights,” said Justus Kamwesigye, UNAIDS specialist.

“If it’s a woman, she is divorced; if it’s a man, he is chased away from the village.

“So there are no support mechanisms for people living with HIV, who would actually need more support from the community.”

Mr Kamwesigye urged community members to give the necessary support to people living with HIV/AIDS.

Only about 2.6% of the adults are HIV positive, according to UN statistics.

He stressed that cultural practices have also hindered HIV/AIDS preventative measures such as the use of condoms.

According to the UNAIDS, 60% of the population in South Sudan do not have enough education about HIV/AIDS.

Mr Kamwesigye further said there is still a need for massive awareness campaigns on the disease within the country.

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