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International News

Sudanese Government Launches HIV/AIDS Awareness Campaign

October 19, 2005

Information Minister Zahawi Ibrahim Malik announced Tuesday that Sudan and UNICEF have launched a national HIV/AIDS awareness campaign aimed at stemming the spread of the virus that has claimed the lives of 23,000 Sudanese and infected 600,000 more, half of whom are males under age 25.

The epidemic jeopardizes benefits from a January peace agreement that ended the country's 21-year civil war that claimed over 2 million lives. "If the disease kills the future generations, then the peace agreement would be useless because it would find no one to benefit from it," Malik said.

Sudan National AIDS Program's Mohammed Abdel Hafeez said his program faces obstacles such as poor health services, insufficient medicine and social stigma when talking to children about the relationship between HIV/AIDS and sexual intercourse. The government has trained a group of mosque imams and preachers to spread awareness, Hafeez said.

A UNICEF report said 75 percent of Sudanese women ages 15-49 do not know HIV can be spread mother-to-child and more than 35 percent of young people think HIV can be contracted through mosquito bites. One quarter of youth believe sharing a meal with an HIV/AIDS patient can transmit the virus.

Fewer than ten percent of nearly 75 percent of Sudanese ages 19-24 are fully aware of correct condom use, while only 23 percent know HIV can be transmitted through unprotected sex.

Back to other news for October 19, 2005

Adapted from:
Associated Press

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This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.
See Also
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