The Rise and Prevention of HIV in Ethiopia today

Our takeaways from Care Women Deserve Seminar, titled: The rise and prevention of HIV in Ethiopia today

 

  • Many people don’t know they have HIV because the level of testing and awareness aren’t as high as they should be. Many people who are actually aware of their illness don’t even know their viral load or CD4 count.

 

  • We should have more focus on adolescents because they are a major demographic that need to be the base for creating awareness.

 

  • Most people are not aware that a consequence of unprotected sex are STIs because they are always focused on pregnancy, but this should also be a major point that should be communicated.

 

  • One good way to approach the high level of HIV prevalence can be by working in the community along with community based organizations. If people are more socially aware of these issues, we can encourage them to get tested more often. People at risk are those who are sex workers, mobile workers, truck drivers, and those who are single or divorced more so than married couples. 

 

  • We should work on the psychological impact of having HIV. This is a big area that has a strong impact on people who are HIV positive. More psychological support should be given to them to help them stay positive in the struggles that may be waiting for them. 

 

  • Media involvement needs to be a driving force behind creating awareness on this issue. This is our best way to reach a large group of people to make sure they can take measures to protect themselves, as well as for early testing and follow up.

 

  • The best prevention modalities need to be utilized so we can ensure less people are vulnerable to infection. That means more people should have access to condoms, especially the populations most at risk. Another method is by involving a multi- sectoral group approach, like schools and NGOs as well as religious institutions. Another way is by introducing HIV as a subject during sexual education for adolescents.