The Chairman of the National AIDS Commission of Liberia, Dr. Ivan F. Camanor, has said that about 30,000 persons are suspected of being HIV carriers in Liberia.
By that statistics, Dr. Camanor said the AIDS epidemic remains a life threatening enemy to Liberia despite massive awareness carried out over the years.
Dr. Camanor’s comment comes, ahead of programs to commemorate this year’s World AIDS Day today, December 1, in Buchanan Grand Bassa County.
Quoting statistics, he indicated that 2,330 persons die each year of AIDS, with females accounting for 52 percent of the death rate. He said 6,500 persons are receiving treatment.
However, Dr. Camanor said Ebola claims life faster, unlike AIDS that takes time, noting that because of the time AIDS takes to end a life, people are becoming complacent in preventing it “thereby causing it to spread slowly.”
He named the south central region of Liberia, including Montserrado, Bomi, Margibi and Grand Bassa counties, as places with the most infections.
Dr. Camanor attributed causes of the spread of HIV to sexual relations with multiple partners, disregard for the use of condoms, denial of one’s positive status and low level of domestic support to the infected.
He said as the world strives to end HIV/AIDS by 2030, the Government of Liberia needs to see the fight against the disease as a national obligation if the country wants to be free from new infections.
He said assistance from international partners will not always be constant and therefore the government should make it its business to allot funds to the fight against AIDS, adding, “98 percent of support to the Commission comes from international partners.”
December 1 is observed globally as World AIDS Day, and this year’s global theme is, “Fast Track-Ending the AIDS Epidemic by 2030,” while the national theme is, “Liberia Fast Tracking Scale Up Treatment, Know Your Status, Use Condoms and End Stigma and Discrimination.”
In consonance with the theme, the National AIDS Commission and the National AIDS Control Program of the Ministry of Health will engage in massive HIV counseling and testing campaigns, distribution of condoms, HIV/AIDS quizzing competition among young people and a sports tournament in Grand Bassa County.