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Ethiopia: Study Finds HIV Infection Rate in Ethiopia Rose By 26 Percent; universal ART access plan
  Daily Monitor (Addis Ababa)
7 October 2007
Endale Assefa
Addis Ababa
The rate of the number of people tested for HIV/Aids in Ethiopia since February-August 2007 and found to be positive showed 26 % increase; compared to similar test conducted from November, 2006 -January 2007, a report compiled in September, 2007 disclosed.
The report entitled Millennium Aids Campaign Ethiopia (MAC-E) prepared FHAPCO (M&E Department) states the plans and actual performances carried out on HIV council ling and testing, ART treatments and the momentum for the continuation of the campaign to the third phase where the first two are already completed.
According to the report, in the first phase of the campaign that lasted from Nov 2006-Jan2007, 705,619 people were tested for HIV/AIDS and 37,943(5.4%) were found to be positive.
In the second phase, out of the 982,452 people tested, 70,470 were found to be positive (7.3%), according to the report, which showed a 26% increase by the end of August 2007.
The two major objectives of the campaign in the first phase were testing 320,000 people and enrolling 22,000 new patients to ART service; and more than double were tested. The ART plan for new patients fell short of the set target 11,582 but nevertheless a substantial increase from the previous trend, the report states.
In phase II of the campaign, though it was planned to test and council 1.8 million individuals over the seven months period, 982,452 were actually tested (53%) and 31,359 new individuals started ART (77%) from the 40, 710 planned to initiate.
In a round table discussion prepared yesterday at Internews meeting room, Dr. Yibeltal Assefa, health program officer at HAPCO discussed about the plan for the third phase of the program and the comprehensive Universal Access Program (UAP) set for 2010.
He said, "three million test kits are prepared for the new year which will render by far better testing and counseling services than the past years." Sensitization, social mobilization and community conversation are also the major areas of emphasis given in the third phase, according to the officer.
In the (UAP), it is planned to achieve to have one health center one test post in each woreda o f the country, Dr. Yibeltal indicated.
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