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HIV/AIDS, Hep-C rife among service workers in Sudan capital

April 14 - 2017 KHARTOUM

An alarming proportion of workers in cafeterias and beauty salons in Sudan’s Khartoum state are infected with HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis C, according to a survey conducted by the state’s Ministry of Health.

The medical survey, which screened 4,165 foreign workers, as well as 12,694 Sudanese workers in the same sector, revealed that 181 foreigners and 784 Sudanese are infected with either HIV/AIDS or Hepatitis C.

The results of the survey that were released this week, show an infection rate of between 3.6 and 4 percent of workers in the sector in Khartoum. This is a far higher proportion than in the general Sudanese population, which is estimated at 0.2-0.3 percent.

In March 2015, the Sudanese federal Ministry of Health announced a three-year plan to combat the spread of HIV/AIDS in the country.

At the time, the Ministry said that HIV/AIDS department, 52,000 HIV/AIDS cases had been recorded.

Last month, a medical convoy, containing mobile clinics for early screening for cancer, testing for HIV, and sexually transmitted diseases, arrived in Nyala, the South Darfur capital, with plans to treat 5,000 patients.

Although risk estimates by the World Health Organisation (WHO) classify Sudan as a ‘moderate risk country’, as Sudan is bordered by seven countries in which HIV/AIDS is highly prevalent, it is considered susceptible to an increase in HIV/AIDS prevalence.

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