June 27, 2013, (KHARTOUM) – The World Health Organisation (WHO) said recent statistics show that the number of people living with HIV in Sudan have now reached 70,000 people.
The WHO representative in Khartoum Dr Anshu Banerjee said during a regional workshop on increasing access to HIV treatment that the statistical study was conducted in partnership with the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS.
Banerjee pointed out that only 11% of people living with HIV are receiving treatment, explaining that WHO in collaboration with the Sudanese Ministry of Health developed plans to increase the number of people receiving treatment.
The Minister of Health Bahr Idriss Abu Garda affirmed Sudan’s commitment to supporting and protecting people living with HIV through a strategy that lasts for two years adding that his ministry was in the process of increasing examination centers and treatment in the country to meet the growing numbers of people seeking to get tested.
Abu Garda also said that recent indications point to a significant improvement in the fight against the virus.
In the same context, the Chairman of the Advisory Board for Human Rights Muaz Tango said that efforts to enact legislation and laws to protect HIV positive individuals from the stigma and discrimination and treat them as citizens who enjoy all the rights under the law.
HIV/AIDS is still considered a taboo in the Sudanese society and the parliament rejected proposal to make male condoms more available on the grounds that it will encourage premarital sex.