By Marilyn King

The Integrated Biological and Behavior Surveillance Study (IBBSS) has on Wednesday 10th February held a day stakeholder consultative meeting with key populations on how they have targeted people affected with HIV AIDS in Sierra Leone at their Liverpool Street head office in Freetown.

Speaking at the consultative meeting, the Deputy Director of National HIV AIDS Secretariat, James L Kamara said that they targeted a population sample size of Six Thousand Four Hundred and Thirty-Two (6432) across the country, noting that prisoners with HIV prevalence is 8.7%

He stated that 750 prisoners from six correctional service centers assuming average prison size of 250 prisoners conventional cluster sampling of six prison centers from a total of 19 prison facilities in Sierra Leone.

He noted that the key population on Female Sex Worker (FSW) with HIV prevalence is 6.7%, Male Sex Male (MSM) with HIV prevalence of 14.0 % and that transgender with HIV prevalence is 15.3%.

He furthered that they targeted 6 districts noting that for the very first-time people with disabilities were targeted.

The coordinator for IBBSS, Dr. Yvonne Harding indicated that female within the age of 18 years exchanged sex for money or favour as a source of income in the last six months.

She also furthered that male within 18 years and above have engaged in sexual activities with other men in the last six months prior to the survey.

Dr. Harding continued that for Persons in Close Settings (PCS), their team will use NAS connections to reach out to government correction administration and management.

That for TG and Persons Living With Disabilities (PLWD), the team will liaise and work with the relevant NGOs or CSOs with experience and history of engagement in HIV support program to identify and to determine their characteristics.

She concluded that disability is defined as those who have long term physical, mental, intellectual or sensory impairments which interaction with various barriers which hinder their full and effective participation in society on an equal basis with others.