Ethiopia Launches Multisectoral HIV/AIDS Plan

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Ethiopia has launched a multisectoralHIV/AIDS plan that aims to provide universal access to no-cost antiretroviraldrugs by 2010, Meskele Lera, deputy director of the country's HIV/AIDSPrevention and Control Office, said on Thursday, AFP/Inquirer.net reports. According to Lera, additional measures-- including the promotion of condom use, and increased testing and awareness-- also will be included in the plan. "One hundred percent of the peoplein need will have free access to treatment by 2010," Lera said, adding,"It is an ambitious target, but a necessary one. The Ethiopian governmentis committed to ensure universal and free access to treatment to all inneed." Although antiretrovirals have been available at no cost in Ethiopia since2005, not all people who need the drugs have been able to access them,according to AFP/Inquirer.net. The number of people with access toantiretrovirals under the plan will increase from 140,000 at the end of 2007 to397,000 in 2010.

Lera also said that a primary goal of the plan is to prevent new HIV cases,which will require "deep social transformations." Under the plan, theHIV/AIDS office aims to increase condom use among people ages 15 to 49 from 10%in 2007 to 60% by 2010. The plan also has an HIV testing and counseling targetof 9.27 million people by 2010. About 80% of HIV-positive pregnant women underthe plan will receive services to prevent mother-to-child transmission by 2010.In addition, the country aims to establish an increased number of HIV/AIDS careand support centers, as well as local awareness programs with centers in allschools. Efforts to provide universal access to basic health care will begin thisyear, according to the plan.

The government estimates that about 1.5 million people in Ethiopia areliving with HIV, but the World Health Organization's figure is about 2.8 millionpeople (AFP/Inquirer.net, 1/17).

Reprintedwith permission from kaisernetwork.org. You can view the entire Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, search the archives, and sign up foremail delivery at kaisernetwork.org/email . The Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Reportis published for kaisernetwork.org, a free service of The Henry J. KaiserFamily Foundation.

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