HIV/AIDS test available for 30,000 people
As the campaign to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS intensifies, World Aids Day which is celebrated today 1st December, also brings to birth the commencement of HIV/AIDS test on 30,000 Sierra Leoneans. (Photo: Dr. Brima Kargbo, Director of NAS)
The test, according to National Aids Secretariat (NAS) officials, targets Sierra Leoneans throughout the country.
It was disclosed that the campaign had commenced 26th November 2010.
In his statement, the Director of NAS, Dr Brima Kargbo, disclosed how his organization celebrates World Aids Day every year.
He also revealed that the theme for this year’s anniversary is ‘Universal Access and Human Rights,’ which to the world of HIV/AIDS prevention, explains how it is essential for all to do the test.
He said despite efforts of government in the provision of free antiretroviral drugs to people living with Aids, many that are infected refused to come out for supply.
Sierra Leone currently has 48,000 persons infected with the decease.
Dr. Brima Kargbo further disclosed his organization’s key challenge is the prevention of the mother to child transmission.
NAS has managed to reach out to 51% of pregnant women, encouraging them to come out to do the test on HIV/AIDS.
To Dr. Kargbo, it’s only through knowledge of one’s status that society can be guided in the prevention and spread of the disease.
“By doing the test, lives of Sierra Leoneans will be saved. Even the unborn will be protected,” Dr. Kargbo said.
“World Aids Day is important. It exists to encourage Sierra Leoneans on issues bordering on HIV/AIDS prevention.”
Madam Mulunesh Tennagasshaw who spoke on behalf of her organization UNAIDS, extends her institution’s appreciation over the declining rate of the epidemic to 22%. She however called on Sierra Leone not to be complacent of successes made, but encourages all to come out in their numbers and do the test.
Mr. Arnold Macaulay of the Network of HIV Positive Persons encouraged Sierra Leoneans to come together to stop the stigma and discrimination of HIV/AIDS.
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