Author Topic: 44,000 people estimated to be living with HIV/AIDS in Somalia  (Read 3679 times)

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Offline Waxbaro!

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44,000 people estimated to be living with HIV/AIDS in Somalia
« on: December 26, 2008, 08:26:17 PM »
Uniting against AIDS, uniting for Somali children

There are currently an estimated 44,000 people living with HIV and AIDS in Somalia. The HIV prevalence rate in Somalia is slightly less than 1% but there is no room for complacency to attain the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) to combat HIV and AIDS by 2015.

Somalia faces a unique challenge in managing an adequate programme to combat HIV and AIDS amid an acute and prolonged emergency due to ongoing conflict and natural disasters.

In this context, it is vital that special attention be paid to the vulnerability of women and girls, children and marginalized.
The Declaration of Commitment on HIV/AIDS adopted at the 2001 UN General Assembly Special Session on HIV/AIDS (UNGASS) recognized the vulnerability of emergency affected populations.

It called for the development and implementation of national strategies that incorporate HIV awareness, prevention, and care and treatment elements into programmes and actions that respond appropriately and effectively to emergency situations. In the emergency context, the role of genderbased violence and its contribution to the spread of HIV and AIDS also needs specific focus.

Recognizing the unique challenges in responding to HIV and AIDS in Somalia, it should be noted that the HIV epidemic is affecting Somali populations differently in the three Somali zones (Northwest Somalia or “Somaliland’, Northeast Somalia or “Puntland”, and Central and Southern Somalia) and within the zones.

There is no sero-surveillance data to assess prevalence levels in the general population or any of the populations considered most-at-risk to HIV infection.
However, in the antenatal clinic (ANC) survey in 2004, relatively higher prevalence was reported from Somaliland (1.7%), followed by Puntland (0.5%), and
Central South Somalia (0.3%).

Coinfection with HIV among TB patients is estimated at 4.5%. Prevalence among patients with sexually transmitted infections (STIs) was 6.3% and was higher among men (7.4%) compared to women (5.4%). The ANC site in the port city of Berbera has shown a steady increase, with a prevalence of 0.0%, 2.3%, and 2.7% in the years 1999, 2004, and 2007 respectively. Other sites, in Puntland and Central South have demonstrated a similar trend.

Given the diversity in prevalence and recognizing the vulnerability of certain groups within the emergency environment, and the commitments made by the UN and Government partners, UNICEF is working closely with women, youth, religious and traditional leaders and within health care centres to respond to the epidemic.

The current response to HIV prevention, treatment and care is driven by community based organizations. The involvement of women’s groups through the Woman-to-Woman network remains one of the most effective responses to HIV and AIDS at a community level throughout Somalia. These networks provide peer education sessions, forums and home-based visits. This is undertaken parallel to sensitization work in collaboration with religious and traditional leaders to ensure a supportive environment that reduces stigma and discrimination whilst building skills for HIV prevention.

A long-term successful response to HIV and AIDS in Somalia would depend on increased community-based prevention programmes and working with young people as agents of change. Working with women’s groups has strengthened the community-driven response and it is vital for such initiatives to be supported at the higher level by people such as religious leaders.

The functioning of the subnational AIDS Commissions strengthens the policy and governance environment that these groups operate and efforts should focus on dialogue and coordination between the community-based groups and the governance structures.

The people of Somalia have achieved many successes in responding to HIV and AIDS, but more needs to be done. Failure to address HIV and AIDS, even in what is considered a low prevalence country, will undermine the ability to achieve the other important Millennium Development Goals. HIV and AIDS can cripple the advancements made in improving maternal health and reducing child mortality.

Somalia will not be able to respond to HIV and AIDS without pursuing the additional Millennium Development Goals to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger and promote gender equality and empower women. All groups and sectors should be involved in a coordinated and multi-sectoral response to HIV and AIDS. This is increasingly being achieved thanks to careful planning for HIV/AIDS work under the United Nations Transition Plan for Somalia and Consolidated Appeals Process targeting populations in need of humanitarian assistance.

UNICEF SOMALIA NEWSLETTER
DOWNLOAD FULL ARTICLE IN ENGLISH / SOMALI
VISIT US AT www.unicef.org/somalia


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Offline Diagnostic

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Re: 44,000 people estimated to be living with HIV/AIDS in Somalia
« Reply #1 on: January 03, 2009, 01:09:45 AM »
Waxbaro, I beleive the number is more than 44,000.
In diagnosis think of the easy first.
Martin H. Fischer

Offline Waxbaro!

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Re: 44,000 people estimated to be living with HIV/AIDS in Somalia
« Reply #2 on: January 08, 2009, 08:35:48 PM »
Yes you are right....

As long some our community beleive that AIDS does'nt exist or it's a curse from some gennies, the AIDS scale will be going up and a lot of innocent people will die.....
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