Title: Closing the gap on HIV prevention and treatment in Sudan and leaving no one behind
Author: SudaneseOnline Press Release
Date: 12-01-2014, 06:47 PM
From right to left: H.E. Dr Bahar Idris Abu Gardah, Federal Minister of Health; H.E. Mr Ibrahim Adam Ibrahim, State Minister at the Ministry of Welfare and Social Security; Dr Hamidreza Setayesh, UNAIDS Country Director for Sudan
Khartoum, 1 December 2014- “AIDS response is a joint responsibility of different government sectors” stated the Federal Minister of Health, Dr Bahar Idris Abu Gardah, at a press conference held today at Sudan News Agency on the occasion of World AIDS Day. He emphasized on intensifying work with the key populations to reduce risky behaviors. “Social stigma remains a major challenge for people living with HIV to lead healthy and dignified lives” added the Minister.
Mr Ibrahim Adam Ibrahim, State Minister at the Ministry of Welfare and Social Security informed the audience on the completion of the ministry’s 3-year strategy to address HIV prevention, treatment, care and support through the various councils and institutions under the Ministry’s umbrella, including Zakat chamber, stating the HIV is a social problem that requires concerted community efforts to address it effectively.
UNAIDS Country Director, Dr Hamidreza Setayesh, called for an intensified national effort to serve those who are “left behind” and close the resource gap by allocation of domestic resources to ensure sustainable success of the program and ultimate ending of AIDS epidemic in Sudan by 2030.
Minister of Health of North Darfur, Dr Mohammed Ahmed Abdelhafiz, pointed out low access and utilization of services despite their availability.
Responding to a journalist asking for tighter measures in testing foreign nationals who enter the country, Federal Health Minister confirmed that “no mandatory testing and restrictions related to travel of people living with HIV should be imposed”.
Restrictions that limit an individual’s movement based solely on HIV-positive status are discriminatory and violate human rights. There is no evidence that such restrictions protect public health or prevent HIV transmission. Furthermore, HIV-related travel restrictions have no economic justification, as people living with HIV can lead long and productive working lives.
According to the latest joint Government of Sudan and UNAIDS estimates, 49’000 [34’000 to 70’000] people are living with HIV in the country. Currently the country has 36 HIV treatment sites, 285 voluntary counselling and testing centers and 357 sites for prevention of HIV transmission from mothers to their children, according to Federal Minister of Health. Coverage and utilization of HIV-related service in Sudan is very low, generally below 20%.
UNAIDS Sudan | Hind Hassan | tel. +249 187 124 202 | mailto:[email protected]@unaids.org
The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) leads and inspires the world to achieve its shared vision of zero new HIV infections, zero discrimination and zero AIDS-related deaths. UNAIDS unites the efforts of 11 UN organizations—UNHCR, UNICEF, WFP, UNDP, UNFPA, UNODC, UN Women, ILO, UNESCO, WHO and the World Bank—and works closely with global and national partners to maximize results for the AIDS response. Learn more at unaids.org and connect with us on Facebook and Twitter.