On the re-opening of SLPP Office … “We would never encourage violence” John Benjamin...

Sierra Leone News: Demographic Health Survey will target HIV testing

Statistics Sierra Leone in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and Sanitation will target HIV testing during the upcoming Demographic Health Survey, which will begin soon. No date has been set for the survey period, however, UNAIDS has set targets that 90% of people living with HIV should receive antiretroviral treatment by 2020. Implementing innovative programs to help achieve these ambitious targets in Sub-Saharan Africa, the epicentre of the global AIDS epidemic, are essential. In Sierra Leone, the HIV Secretariat has used outdated figures for HIV positive statistics. The Secretariat claims a 1.5% infection rate while several international studies quote figures as high as 20-25% infection rate. Marian Bangura, communications lead at Statistics Sierra Leone said if the 2020 target on treatment should become a reality, there is need to increase HIV/AIDS awareness. She added that this will give the enumerators the opportunity to obtain data for monitoring and evaluating for further action. “This strategy ensures a relatively safe and comforting environment, which is non-stigmatizing and allow for increasing disclosure among families. In this case, it is for people linked to clients who tested HIV positive at the clinics,” Bangura noted. Kattor Kay Kamara from the Health Education Division maintained that the family counselling and testing will be confidential to each family member. He highlighted the key benefits of the home-based testing during the survey, which includes high uptake and acceptability of HIV testing, high yield of people newly diagnosed with HIV, reduced stigma, improved disclosure, improved family care and support, improved adherence, high proportion with potential concomitant tuberculosis identified as well as a high proportion of adults and children will be successfully linked to treatment facilities.


By Ade Campbell

Wednesday May 15, 2019.


Comments are closed.