In an effort to step up the fight against the spread of HIV/AIDS, voluntary counselling and testing was offered to mark World AIDS Day in Wau, in northwestern South Sudan.
UN peacekeepers and health partners set up mobile voluntary counselling and testing (VCT) stations in residential and public areas around the town including the main market area.
The public was encouraged to test and people living with HIV to seek treatment to avoid complications.
The initiative was well received with scores of people showing up to get tested.
Acting Director of HIV/AIDS in Wau Teaching Hospital, Pina Paul, said that over 2,400 people affected with HIV in Wau are receiving treatment.
She said that most people receiving treatment were those internally displaced living at the UN Protection of Civilians site, Wau Cathedral and other surrounding areas.
The UNMISS HIV/AIDS Unit in Wau Field Office held peer education training for UN peacekeepers, including members of the local police and organized sport activities at the UN base to commemorate World AIDS Day.
The Acting Head Field Office, Mustapha Tejan-Kella said there was a need to stand in unity to fight HIV/AIDS and support people living with HIV without discrimination.
“As research progresses for newer and better treatments, we should not be complacent, as HIV/AIDS is still with us,” said Mr Tejan-Kella.
Mr Tejan-Kella said that everyone has a part to play in order to achieve the 90-90-90 goal set for 2020.
The goal calls for 90 per cent of all people living with HIV to know their HIV status, 90 per cent of all people with diagnosed HIV infection to receive sustained antiretroviral therapy, 90 per cent of all people receiving antiretroviral therapy will have viral suppression.