UNAIDS calls for urgent action to avert crisis in South Sudan
A United Nations interagency task team has called for partners, donors, national authorities and others to act in South Sudan.
South Sudan is one of the 38 countries that account for 90% of all new infections, and only 10% of people living with HIV in the country are on life-saving antiretroviral therapy. The conflict has weakened HIV services and host countries often cannot provide for the influx of refugees.
South Sudan has been ripped apart by civil war for the past two years. Tens of thousands of people have been killed and many others have fled their homes. Widespread reports have detailed looting, rape, enslavement and the use of children in armed conflict.
Two million people are internally displaced in the country and more than 1.95 million people have migrated to neighbouring countries. Food has become scarce and famine has followed.
The task team gives 16 recommendations in a new report, Time to act! Conflict, displacement, famine and the HIV response. Among these are that when targeting food assistance, people living with chronic illnesses, including HIV, should be included, in order to help them to adhere to their treatment. The report also urges the continuing distribution of medicines to treat HIV, sexually transmitted infections and tuberculosis and for condoms to be available through the country and in neighbouring countries.