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APO International

United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) Supports Training on Preventing Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) / Acquired Immuno Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS)

todayJune 4, 2024 2

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To dispel myths surrounding HIV/AIDS and raise public awareness, the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) in partnership with Lakes state’s HIV/AIDS Commission facilitated a 10-day ‘Change Agent’ training.

Some 26 participants, mainly women, drawn from various institutions including hospitals, took part.

Peer education, HIV prevention strategies, including safe sex practices and understanding condom use were some key training aspects.

Vitally, sessions touched upon how stigmatization and discrimination can hinder the lives of people living with the disease.

Atet Manuella, a participant, said that the workshop had not only equipped her with the knowledge of how to protect herself from the virus, but also how to care for people who may be afflicted with it.

Furthermore, she highlighted the pressing need for widespread awareness campaigns to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS.

“It’s our responsibility to trickle down what we have learnt here to our communities so that people who are affected by the disease do not face any stigma and everybody is aware of safe practices that can help protect them from contracting the virus in the first place,” she stated.

For John Malith, another participant, busting myths related to HIV/AIDS is key and, therefore, he pledged to mobilize community elders to pass on accurate information related to prevention at community meetings and similar fora.

Prescilia Arop, Chair of the HIV/AIDs Commission was appreciative of the enthusiastic response by participants and urged pregnant mothers to visit health facilities regularly to avoid transferring the virus to newborns.  

“Regular pre-natal checkups will go a long way in eliminating mother-to-child transmission. Additionally, everyone should get their HIV status checked at a hospital. With the right medications, people with this virus can live a long and fulfilled life,” she commented.  

Stephen Odera, UNMISS’ HIV/AIDs focal point in Rumbek was also impressed with the commitment demonstrated by the new trainees.

“We are hopeful that all participants will carry out awareness campaign in their communities on how HIV is transmitted and what to do if one is infected with the virus. We also expect them to educate the public about prevention measures, whenever possible, he averred.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS).

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