Somalilandsun- Knowing your HIV status is critical to making informed choices about your health and well-being.
So Get tested today, the somaliland health minister Dr Hasan Ismail Yusuf told citizens during events commemorating the World AIDS Day 2018 in Hargeisa where participants included hundreds of citizens as well as officials representing the Somaliland national AIDS Commission-SOLNAC and other local and international stakeholders
The urging by the health minister were in tandem with “Know Your Status” which is the theme of The 30th anniversary of World AIDS Day
And as Somaliland joined global partners to commemorate World AIDS Day under the theme “Know Your Status”, which was an occasion to celebrate the 30th anniversary of World AIDS Day – a pioneering global health campaign first initiated by WHO in 1988, achievements and constraints encountered in the national fight against infection were also detailed by SOLNAC which indicated that of the total country’s population of almost 4m only 1% is infected
Similarly it was revealed that 1760 infected persons are availed free of charge antiretroviral drugs at public hospitals nationwide while a large number of others abscond from accessing the free drugs once diagnosed as carriers.
Constraints afflicting infected persons are manly related to wide spread discrimination and stigmatization while those related to establishing a factual data base of infection rates revolves around non utilization of voluntary testing and counseling services provided without charge at all public health institutions nationwide.
On the other hand the financial Support availed the government of somaliland the wards the fight against HIV/AIDS from the international community is lacking thence reliance on interventions by only the European Union.
Another major impediment is the large number of infected persons who refuse to access antiretroviral drugs which might lead to new infections.
With wide lack of knowledge among the citizenry as pertains HIV infection process which is as a result of minimal awareness raising campaigns is directly related to the institutionalized stigmatization as well as new infection cases, informs SOLNAC
Concluding the WAD 2018 commemorations all HIV/AIDS stakeholders in Somaliland committed to enhanced efforts especially in relation to fundraising, awareness raising campaigns and an intensification in promoting Voluntary Testing and Counseling nationwide.