Liberia

The Christian HIV and AIDS Network of Liberia (CHANOL) is a non-governmental faith based organization that was established to ensure the reduction of HIV and AIDS prevalence in the Liberian society; yea the Christian community – since this country was founded on Christian principles and predominantly Christian. CHANOL role will therefore be to effectively consolidate and coordinate the Christians’ and partners’ response to HIV and AIDS through networking and collaboration.

Based upon the increase in the prevalent rate of HIV and AIDS cases in the country, three (3) Churches (the Lutheran, Methodist, and Catholic) met in 2002 to establish a forum that would facilitate networking amongst Churches and other Christian organizations to forge partnership with other stakeholders to initiate advocacy for a positive Christian response to the HIV and AIDS pandemic in Liberia.

The vision of CHANOL to Ensure the Reduction of the Incidence of HIV and AIDS in Liberia and the mission is To effectively consolidate and coordinate the Christian response to HIV and AIDS in Liberia through Networking and collaboration

Access to Health Care
Liberia’s health services have been severely disrupted by conflict. Health workers fled to camps for internally-displaced people, to secure areas or to neighboring countries. Health facilities were looted and vandalized and medical supplies became unavailable. Government funding was inadequate and health services collapsed. Following the end of the war, the revitalization of the health services has begun. There are presently 339 health facilities operational throughout the country. These include 261 clinics, 53 Health centers, 12 County Hospitals, 8 tertiary hospitals and 5 Maternal Centers.  208 of these facilities are operated by the Government of Liberia; 44 operated by private institutions, 47 by communities, 28 by Faith-based and Mission organizations while 9 are operated by NGOs and 3 by others institutions.
Most data suggest low service consumption and gross imbalances across Liberia. Poor access is compounded by very poor roads and limited public transport. The lack of trained health staff, especially in the remote areas, is the major problem facing the health sector.

HIV and AIDS – RELATED BEHAVIOR

HIV Testing
Only one quarter of women and one –third of men know where to get an HIV test. Very few Liberians have ever been tested for HIV only 3 percent of women and 5 percent of men have been tested and received the results of the test. Testing is more common in urban areas than rural areas and is most common among men and women with higher level of education and those from the wealthier households.

Higher risk sex and condom use
In the 2007 LDHS higher –risk sex is defined as sex in the 12 months preceding the survey with a partner who is neither a spouse or lives with the respondent. Overall 33 percent of women and 52 percent of men Who had ever had sex engaged in higher –risk sex in the year before the survey  Fourteen percent of these women and 26 percent of these men reported using a Condom consistently with their last higher –risk partner

Sexual transmitted infections (STIS)
One in three women and one in six men reported having had an STI or STI symptom.

Youth and HIV and AIDS
About one –quarter of youth (ages 15 -24) have comprehensive knowledge of HIV and AIDS. That is they know that use of condoms during sex and having just one uninfected partner can reduce the change of getting AIDS, know that a healthy-looking person can have the AIDS virus, and rejected the two most common local misconceptions about AIDS. About half of young people know place to get condoms. The majority of young women and men have sex before marriage-69 percent of unmarried women 15-24 and 59 percent of unmarried men 15-24 had sexual intercourse in the 12 months before the survey. Among these sexually active youth, only 14 percent of young women and 21 percent of young men report that they used a condom the last time they had sex.

HIV Prevalence
The 2007 LDHS included HIV testing of almost 12000 men and women. Eighty-seven percent of eligible women aged 15-49 and 80 percent of men 15-49 were tested for HIV.

LDHS result indicated that 1.5 percent of adult ages 15-49 are HIV-positive. Women are slightly more likely to be infected then men, and those living in urban are at higher risk of infection then those living in the rural areas. HIV prevalence is highest among women and men living in Monrovia, and lowest in North Central.

For women, prevalence hits it peak at age 35-39 (2.5 percent), while for men, prevalence is at its highest at age 25-34 and 45-49 (1.7 percent) HIV prevalence is slightly higher among women and men who are widowed or divorce and separated then those who are currently married or who have never been married.

HIV prevalence increases with education for both women and men. Women with secondary and higher education, for example, are almost three times as likely to be infected as those with no education. Prevalence also increases with wealth. Men from the wealthiest household are four times as likely to be HIV-positive as those from the poorest households.