HIV prevalence in South Sudan: data from the ANC sentinel surveillance 2009
Data on the prevalence of HIV and syphilis was collected from 24 ante-natal care clinic (ANC) sentinel sites in all 10 states of South Sudan during the three months September to December 2009. The overall sample size was 6175 pregnant women; however, only 5913 samples were tested for HIV of which 176 (3%) were positive.
Interestingly, the age groups 15-24 years accounted for almost half (49.5%) of the overall sample size of this ANC 2009 Survey distributed between the age group 15-19 years with 18.6% of the overall sample and the age group 20-24 years accounting for 30.9% of the total sample size.
The prevalence of HIV was 2.3% (n=25) in the 15-19 year age group and 3.3% (n=59) in the 20-24 year age group. The prevalence of syphilis was 7.6% (n=74) in the) in the 15-19 year age group and 9.6% (n=183) in the 20-24 year age group.
The HIV prevalence among the young women aged 15-24 years was 2.9% compared to the overall HIV prevalence among all age groups of 3%. Similarly the syphilis prevalence among 15-24 year old women was 28.4% compared to the overall survey syphilis prevalence of 9.9%.
In conclusion, the post conflict ANC surveillance showed an HIV prevalence of 3% and the experience had shed some light, proved and disregarded a wide range of assumptions with regards to HIV distribution in the country. Despite all challenges, the routine ANC surveillance system, in the context of South Sudan, is very promising in provision of timely relevant information and can be used to monitor the trend over time.