HIV and AIDS awareness and support in South Sudan
This program aims to prevent new HIV infections as well as re-infections in at-risk populations, such as children, teenagers and women, in the Diocese of Tombura-Yambio, Western South Sudan.
About the program
Progress towards development in the Sudan region has too often been hampered by conflict and unrest. While the prevalence of HIV and AIDS in the Sudan has tended to be low compared to some other regions of Africa, much work needs to be done to raise awareness and understanding of the disease – especially in at-risk populations.
Caritas Australia and its partners are forming education teams to raise community and individual awareness about HIV and AIDS and provide care and support to people living with HIV and AIDS. The aim is to provide information about HIV and AIDS prevention, treatment and care to approximately 25,000 people over a three- year period.
The program encourages positive living and communication within families and communities that so often stigmatise those affected by HIV and AIDS. As a result of the program and other awareness-raising interventions, people living with HIV and AIDS are increasingly sharing their status with their families. This promising trend, if supported, lays a good foundation for fighting the stigma and having communities accept people living with HIV and AIDS.
Radio talk shows have helped the program reach people living in remote areas of South Sudan. The shows give people the opportunity to interact with presenters and exchange ideas about HIV and AIDS within their local context.
As a result of intensified campaigns, including the radio talk shows, there has been an increase of people seeking Voluntary Counselling and Testing (VCT) services, especially in two newly-formed VCT centres of Naandi and Ezo. When these centres were established, they received between 2 to 5 people a week; by the end of 2011, registrations had risen to between 15 and 65 people every week.
In an effort to ensure that the long-term objectives of the program are being achieved, this program is also building the capacity of the Diocesan HIV and AIDS team to plan and manage community-based HIV and AIDS initiatives to respond to the needs of people living with HIV and AIDS.
- Issues: HIV and AIDS; Health
- Partner Agency: CAFOD in partnership with the Catholic Diocese of Tombura Yambio (CDoTY) Development and Peace Office
- Funding in 2014/15 financial year: AU $81,900
- Geographic location: Far south west of South Sudan
- When established: 2010