HIV/AIDS Assets and Strategic Focus
CDC is assisting the MoH in rebuilding South Sudan’s fragile health system. The strategy is to build host country capacity through strengthening health systems with a focus on preventing new HIV infections. Within this framework, CDC focuses on HIV testing and counseling (HTC), prevention of mother to child transmission (PMTCT), and strengthening laboratory infrastructure and strategic information.
Strengthening HIV Prevention, Testing, and Counseling
Over the past five years CDC has supported the development of South Sudan’s professional counseling cadre. CDC also collaborates with the MoH to increase access to HIV testing and PMTCT services. HIV prevention programs include services targeting the military population.
Strengthening Surviellance Systems
CDC provides technical assistance to the MoH for HIV surveillance activities including training and mentoring of surveillance staff, facilitating regular antenatal surveillance, and developing bio-behavioral surveys. This TA has resulted in the development and use of national policies and guidelines that are setting national standards.
CDC advocated for and was granted an emergency provision of rapid test kits and antiretroviral prophylaxis to enable the continuation of current PMTCT services needed during a two-year gap in essential commodities provided by the Global Fund.
CDC has helped build HTC capacity and turned successfully transitioned it to the MoH. In addition, all HTC support supervisors were trained and are now supporting and training voluntary counseling and testing (VCT) counselors. To date, 69% of them have been trained in VCT.