Sierra Leone Government Ministers To Undergo HIV Testing To Break Down Stigma, Vice President Says
Sierra Leone Vice President Solomon Berewa on Monday said that all of the country's government ministers and their deputies are scheduled to undergo HIV testing to try to break down some of the stigma attached to the disease, IRIB News reports. Speaking to reporters following Sierra Leone's sixth development partnership conference, Berewa said that the tests would be conducted "soon." Berewa added, "I shall select a day for this. ... This is a practical way for us to show leadership." Berewa said that he would also encourage the country's lawmakers to undergo public HIV testing. Last week, the National AIDS Commission called for journalists to undergo testing. According to UNAIDS statistics, as of the end of 2001, 170,000 HIV-positive people lived in Sierra Leone, which has a population of 5.7 million people. Approximately 42,000 children in Sierra Leone have lost one or both parents to AIDS-related causes, according to IRIB News (IRIB News, 1/27).This is part of the Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.