Agricultural sector hit hardest by HIV/AIDS


The National Aids Coordinating Agency (NACA) says the Ministry of Agriculture has 24 per cent more AIDS deaths than other government ministries.

According to Tswapong South MP Oreeditse Molebatsi, NACA made this revelation during a briefing of the Parliamentary HIV/AIDS Committee in Gaborone last week.

Molebatsi told various village committees in Machaneng that the study on the state of HIV/AIDS among government ministries was conducted between January and March 2005.

He said the Ministry of Agriculture is followed by the Ministry of Works and Transport with 17 per cent of AIDS deaths.

Molebatsi said the high death toll among civil servants is a challenge to heads of department, adding that they should intensify HIV/AIDS education.

The other ministries that have been hard hit by the HIV/AIDS deaths include Local Government with 13 per cent followed by health at 11 per cent and Minerals, Energy and Water Resources.

Molebatsi emphasized the need for all to test for HIV/AIDS even for those who still feel that they are fit.

The report further revealed that people, who voluntarily test for HIV/AIDS, usually do not bring their partners along.

The MP said it has also been discovered that even after testing those who have tested never disclose their results to their partners.

He therefore encouraged people to always test with their partners to avoid unnecessary conflicts.

He further said that the study has shown that men are reluctant to test for the HIV/AIDS, adding that knowing one status is essential as it could help those infected to start benefiting from the existing programmes before it is too late.

Molebatsi said that the study has shown that people aged 50 years and above are also reluctant to test for HIV/AIDS.

He said that the same elderly people, especially men, are courting young females therefore increasing chances of infecting them with the virus.

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