Federal HIV and AIDS Prevention and Control Office (FHAPCO) in collaboration with Oromia Regional Health Bureau commemorated the national 2018 World AIDS DAY (WAD) in Ethiopia on 1st Dec 2018. Dukem town, which is one of the industrial towns of Oromia Regional State, hosted the event under the 2018 WAD theme, “Know Your Status”.
The welcoming address was given by Mr. Andargachew Negash, the Deputy Mayor of the hosting town. Honorable guests observed in the session and delivered opening remarks were: Mr. Ahmed Tussa, Oromia Regional State Deputy President & Economic Cluster Coordinator; H.E. Dr. Liya Tadesse, State Minister, Federal Ministry of Health (FMoH); Mr. Abreham Gebremedhin, HAPCO Deputy Director; Dr. Dereje Diguma, Oromia Regional Health Bureau Head; Mr. Tim Martinewau, UNAIDS Deputy Executive Director and Dr. Shannon Marsh, PEPFAR Ethiopia Country Director. Representatives from WHO, UNFPA, UNESCO, UN Woman, USAID and CDC country offices also participated in the event.
Ethiopia is one of the HIV high burden countries with an estimated 610,335 people living with HIV in 2018. The adult HIV prevalence is 0.96% and is higher among women than men (1.2% versus 0.6%). The epidemic is seven times higher in urban than in rural areas (2.9% versus 0.4%) and varies among regions, ranges from less than 0.1% in Somali to 4.8% in Gambella. HIV prevalence is 0.3% among young women and 0.1% among young men age 15-24.
Ethiopia has made remarkable efforts on HIV prevention and control activities since mid-1990s. Today the country is one of the sub-Saharan countries that have achieved reduction of HIV incidence and prevalence by more than 50%. Seventy-nine percent (79%) of people leaving with HIV (PLHIV) knew their HIV status, 74% were currently receiving antiretroviral treatment and the routine viral load monitoring coverage was 61% with 88% viral suppression as indicated on July 2018 FMoH report.
Though commendable results have been observed in overall HIV program implementation in the country, the HIV indicators are still too far in achieving the national targets. To this line, it was reiterated that the government as well as the development partners need to continue their efforts in sustaining the momentum gained till now.
Similarly, the UN Care – Ethiopia workplace HIV program commemorated the World AIDS Day on 30 Nov 2018 in United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) compound.