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Puntland police officer who publicly announced his HIV status promoted

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A screengrab of Officer Bashir Awad (FB.com/tiyaatrapro)

NAIROBI—The police officer who gallantly came out to announce his HIV status has been promoted from captain to the rank of deputy chief of police force.

The promotion was announced by the vice-president of the Puntland State, Ahmed Elmi.

In a widely shared documentary by a YouTube channel called “Tiyatar Pro,” officer Bashir Awad made public his status, stating that he contracted the HIV virus through his second wife who he has since divorced.

“I’m not scared nor ashamed,” Awad said during the interview.

“My wife infected me deliberately and I forgave her,” he added. 

There is no official statistics on HIV and AIDS prevalence in Somaliaa, but figures from the 2015 indicated rise in infections. Experts blame ignorance, cultural barriers and fear of stigmatization which hampers many people from finding out their HIV status.

“As a way of appreciating his selfless campaign to encourage victims of HIV/AIDS to come out and accept their status,  we are promoting him (Bashir Awad) from the rank of captain to deputy police chief,” the vice-president said.

The promotion comes on the first day of December where the world marks “World AIDS Day.”

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