Faith-Based Groups Partnering To Fight HIV/AIDS Epidemic in Sudan’s Darfur Region
Various faith-based organizations recently have been working together to combat the spread of HIV in Sudan's Darfur region, PlusNews reports. Sexual assault and rape are "widespread" in Darfur, and antiretroviral drugs are unaffordable for many HIV-positive people in the region, according to PlusNews. Obtaining data on the epidemic in the region is difficult because of three years of conflict. Eleven percent of 180 people tested HIV-positive in recent months at a Federal Ministry of Health voluntary counseling and testing clinic in Nyala, the capital of South Darfur state, according to Action by Churches Together, a coalition of faith-based groups. ACT has been working with the Sudan Council of Churches and Caritas Internationalis, a Catholic relief group, to try to prevent the spread of HIV in Darfur, PlusNews reports. In addition, Darfurnet, a local group that addresses gender issues, has established committees to help fight the spread of the epidemic. "People may have heard of HIV/AIDS, but they do not know what it is or how to protect themselves or care for the infected," Charlotte Brudenell, ACT information officer in Darfur, said. SCC, using health ministry information, has trained 375 people to educate others about HIV care, prevention and counseling. According to PlusNews, several of the young people who have been trained recently have urged local Muslim scholars and other community leaders to speak about the epidemic (PlusNews, 9/6).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.