By Peter Lokale Nakimangole
TORIT, 02 December 2016 [Gurtong] –On Thursday, at Torit Freedom Square, the South Sudan HIV/AIDS Commission (SSAC), sector partners and the State Health Ministry commemorated the day.
Speaking at the event, Clementina Lubaya who represented the Ministry emphasized that everyone in the region must stand in solidarity against the prevalence of HIV/AIDs.
In her address she also called for continued cooperation from sector partners and government relevant institutions to fight against the deadly disease.
She noted that patients in Imatong State often die after being diagnosed of the disease because they do not have access to basic medical facilities and that the rapid spread of the disease is attributed to poor information, sexual immortality and poverty.
Josephine Thomas,Imatong State Parliamentary Committee Chairperson on Health and Environment, discouraged people from sharing needles.
Addressing the occasion on Thursday, the Acting SSAC's Director, Mr. Andruga Emmanuel, said, "... Let's fight the disease in solidarity. Let us continue working in cooperation/together for a success of the HIV/AIDS eradication."
He strongly encouraged everyone to go for a HIV test at available centres.
The World Health Organization's National Provision Officer, Mr. Dominic Franco also reiterated the need for collective responsibility to eradicate the disease.
Meanwhile, the day was an opportunity for the people in Torit to reveal more on how people living with HIV/AIDS are being treated.
Poets and dramatists and individuals took the opportunity to explain how many do not clearly
understand how HIV is transmitted.
Victims like Rose and William echoed with fear to Gurtong that they have witnessed being isolated by others including their relatives saying they are treated without dignity and proper respect.
"... What can you say when your very own relative creates a distance from you. We are simply and openly kept off and being treated without respect."
The South Sudan HIV/AIDS Commission (SSAC) confirmed that many are being stigmatised and are usually looked at as different.
The SSAC's Acting Director in Imatong state's Mr. Andruga Emmanuel appealed to families and the entire public to treat the victims of HIV/Aids with love and respect.