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Tuesday 21 February 2006
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SIERRA LEONE: Lack of AIDS surveys create confusion

[This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations]

JOHANNESBURG, 18 August (PLUSNEWS) - The lack of nation-wide surveys to ascertain the extent of HIV/AIDS in Sierra Leone has created confusion over numbers, experts have said.

As a result of poverty and poor medical facilities, the only available estimates were derived from diagnoses of patients who voluntarily took HIV tests, or were identified when they developed advanced AIDS-related illnesses.

The government's main AIDS prevention unit, the Sierra Leone HIV/AIDS Response Project (SHARP), said recent statistics indicated that about 0.9 percent, or 45,000 people, were HIV-positive, according to PANOS, a global development NGO.

However, UNAIDS put the figure much higher, estimating that 170,000 people were already living with HIV/AIDS by the end of 2001.



Recent SIERRA LEONE Reports
First post-war countrywide survey shows 1.5 percent HIV prevalence,  20/Dec/05
New survey expected to show much higher HIV prevalence rate,  17/Feb/05
300 people to receive free antiretroviral drugs,  20/Jan/05
Efforts to break down HIV/AIDS stigma starting to pay off,  9/Dec/04
UN peacekeepers equipped to prevent HIV/AIDS,  13/Mar/03
· AIDS Media Center
· The Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis & Malaria
· International Community of Women Living with HIV/AIDS
· International HIV/AIDS Alliance

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