Reduce the Impact of HIV in South Sudan

The prevalence of HIV is thought to be low in South Sudan, and IntraHealth is working with the Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) to help it stay that way. After years of civil war, the Government of South Sudan is starting to rebuild the country's infrastructure, including health care. As troops demobilize, displaced persons return home, and commercial traffic from areas of higher HIV rates increases, concerns about a surge in HIV prevalence are growing.

In response to these concerns, the SPLA has established its own HIV/AIDS Secretariat to manage prevention and treatment interventions in the military. IntraHealth has trained the Secretariat in organizational development, established partnerships with the military programs of Kenya and Uganda to learn from what they have done to combat the HIV/AIDS epidemic, and trained military personnel as HIV/AIDS educators. IntraHealth is also strengthening infrastructure by supporting the building of a prefab office structure in Juba to house the Secretariat.

The project has trained the senior military commanders to understand HIV/AIDS’ causes, stigmas, and prevention; held awareness campaigns; and integrated HIV/AIDS prevention and general information into the military trainings. To expand access to HIV/AIDS services, IntraHealth has trained new staff and established or improved voluntary counseling and testing (C&T) sites, including erecting tukuls (traditional thatched-roof structures) to house C&T services.

The project also provides training and management support through subawards to organizations that provide HIV/AIDS services to the civilian as well as military population in the southern part of the country. The organizations include Merlin (Medical Emergency Relief International, a UK-based health services organization), St. Bakhita's Health Center in Yei, the International Medical Corps, and Across (a faith-based organization). These organizations are creating awareness of HIV/AIDS in their communities and providing C&T and prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV services.

This project produced HIV information bulletins for the soldiers in Juba, South Sudan. You can see .pdf versions of them here: