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HIV/AIDS Higher Among Women than Men

By Saidu Kanu

The National HIV/AIDS Secretariat has disclosed that in Sierra Leone, Women tops the list of HIV/AIDS prevalence with 2.7% in 2019 followed by men at 0.7% all between the age of 20-24 years.                                  

At district level prevalence, Western Rural tops all 16 districts in Sierra Leone with a prevalence rate of 3.4% followed by Port Loko district with 2.5%. Koinadugu district occupies 3rd place with 2.1% followed by Bombali district and the Western urban with 2%. Moyamba district occupies 6th place with 1.8%.

Both Kenema and Kono districts equally occupy 7th place with 1.3% prevalence, Tonkolili occupied 8th place with 1.2% while Kambia came 9th with 1%. Pujehun is 10th with 0.9%, Bonthe is 11th with 0.7% while Kailahun occupied 12th place with 0.6%.

According to the findings of the secretariat, the safest district to have sex are the newly de-amalgamated districts of Falaba and Karene with 0.0% on the scoreboard. The reasons according to the secretariat is that the main drivers of the epidemic are influenced by a wide range of gender inequalities. Early and forced marriage, gender based violence (GBV), poverty, limited educational and economic opportunities, early childbearing, unequal access to information (including knowledge about sexual and reproductive health and the prevention of HIV and sexually transmitted infections (STI), and a lack of negotiating power and economic autonomy are among the factors that place adolescent girls and young women at increased risk of HIV infection often circumscribing their ability to protect themselves. In attendance were the Director Dr. Abu BakarrSesay and team.

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