Over 2,000 (two thousand) people in Pujehun District, southern Sierra Leone have tested positive for HIV, an official has disclosed.
Politico reports that Emma Sengeh, the HIV and AIDS Supervisor in Pujehun, says the district headquarter town alone and its immediate environs account for over 500 cases.
She said Pujehun District used to record the highest HIV and AIDS cases in the country with pregnant women accounting for 4.1 % of the current cases. But she would not tell how things compared now.
Emma spoke about a recent district-wide tour educating the people on the risk of HIV and the prevention/control measures involved.
The Ministry of Health recently upped its response to the HIV pandemic in line with the UN’s ambitious goal of ending transmission of the virus by 2030.
One of the objectives is to attain 90% testing and treatment, which Sengeh says Sierra Leone hopes to achieve by 2017. They also plan to ensure every pregnant woman undergoes HIV testing and subject them to early treatment if they have the virus.
To achieve this, she goes on, there is a reason to do away with “too much” confidentiality in dealing with HIV.
“HIV is very much progressive, especially when you are not on treatment, which causes the multiplication of the virus” she says, adding “therefore it does not require too much confidentiality.’’
Sierra Leone has a 1.5% prevalence rate, with an estimated 54, 000 people living with the HIV virus, according to UNAIDS figures. About 5,000 of these are children under 15 years. Many now believe those figures are conservative.