Vickie Remoe Institute of Digital Communications

Increasing in HIV/AIDS cases in Sierra Leone sparks serious concerns

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An estimated number of 76 thousand people are currently living with HIV/AIDS in Sierra Leone according to the National HIV and AIDS Secretariat, and the high rise of the infectious disease has become a major cause for concern in the country.

 

Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), is an infectious infection that targets the white blood cells and weakens the immune system. The virus spreads through various bodily fluids, such as semen, vaginal fluids, blood, and breast milk, from an infected person to an uninfected person. It can be easily transmitted through sexual contact, as well as through kisses and hugs.

 

According to Abdul Rahman Sesay, the Director General of the National HIV and AIDS Secretariat in Sierra Leone, the key groups contributing to the spread of the virus in the country include female commercial sex workers, men who have sex with men, and adolescent boys and girls.

 

“Women make up the largest proportion of infected individuals in Sierra Leone, accounting for approximately 2.6 percent of cases,” said Sesay.

 

Out of the estimated number of infected individuals, about 50,000 are currently receiving treatment, and there are still around 26,000 individuals who have not been accounted for. The districts with the highest numbers of people living with HIV in the country are Western Urban, Western Rural, Bo, and Bombali.

 

Speaking to AYV, Sesay expressed concern that many individuals are not getting tested, posing a significant threat to the country. In response to this challenge, a self-testing system has been introduced to help individuals determine their HIV status. Sesay strongly encourages everyone to undergo HIV testing to become aware of their status and take appropriate measures accordingly.

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