South Sudan, Chinese embassy launch campaign against HIV
JUBA, Nov. 6 (Xinhua) -- A new China-aided HIV/Aids advocacy campaign has been launched in South Sudan, aiming at increasing prevention and treatment for people living with the viral disease.
The year-long initiative is led by the office of South Sudan's First Lady Mary Ayen Mayardit through her charity organization, Concern South Sudan, and is supported by the Chinese Embassy in Juba.
The 2019-2020 national HIV prevention campaign seeks to promote the habit of abstaining from sex, faithfulness and embracing Condom use as the means of protection.
First Vice President Taban Deng Gai who was represented at the occasion on Tuesday by Special Presidential Advisor Barnana Marial Benjamin, lauded the Chinese embassy for supporting the new anti-HIV campaign.
Gai added that the new partnership would be vital in addressing the problems facing the government and partners in the fight against HIV in the East African country.
Hua Ning, Chinese ambassador to South Sudan, said China's involvement in the campaign signals Beijing's commitment towards eradication of the HIV virus.
"We are very proud to be associated with the Concern Organization. We need to work together to promote prevention, treatment of Aids and make an important contribution for Aids awareness and aid patients,"said the Chinese envoy.
According to statics from the United Nations agency tasked with fighting HIV (UNAIDS), nearly 200,000 people were living with the HIV virus in South Sudan in 2018, with a prevalence rate of 1.6 percent.
Sophia Mukasa, UNAIDs South Sudan Country Director, said ignorance about the HIV virus coupled with low awareness is contributing to new HIV infections in the country.
"Only 35 out of 100 people know their HIV status in South Sudan. So we are far behind," said Musaka.