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EPHI in collaboration with CDC and ICAP released Ethiopia population based HIV impact assessment(EPHIA) yesterday Dec, 10 at Getfam Hotel.
In a press conference held at Getfam Hotel, the key findings of the research had been released to media house and invited guests. The findings revealed that Ethiopia has enumerated a good result on HIV treatment service expansion yet testing service delivery needs improvement.
This impact assessment has been done from Oct 2017-May 2018 at national level in different towns. The assessment was carried out in 10,529 households and 20,170 respondents with in the age range of 15-64 years were involved.
The key findings revealed that 70% of people with HIV aged 15-64, the viral load decreased, which is compatible to the UN AIDS HIV coordination program goal to decrease the viral load by 73%. On the contrary, among people who are HIV, only 2/3 (62%) of the people with in the age range of 15-64 tested for HIV and knew that they have HIV which needs strong effort.
The minister of Ministry of Health, Dr. Amir Aman, US Ambassador to Ethiopia, Michalel A. Raynor and Director General of EPHI, Dr. Ebba Abate, , Director general of Federal HAPCO Dr.Tsigereda Kifle, Colombia university ICAP program Director Dr.Zenebe Melaku, Dr.Esther Mary team lead, HIV/TB & communication Disease WHO country office and other development partners attended the press conference.
On his opening remark, Dr. Amir Aman said the assessment was done within 6 months period and it includes people aged from 0-15 and 50-64 years old. According to the findings, he said,the prevalence rate among these age group is 0.3% and 4.4 respectively.
Also US Ambassador to Ethiopia, Michalel A. Raynor said that the encouraging results show that Ethiopia’s commitment to fighting this epidemic, supported by a 15-year partnership between Ethiopia and the United States under the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, are paying off.
“Ethiopia has made tremendous progress in controlling the HIV epidemic. I congratulate Dr. Amir and the leadership of his Ministry, which has mobilized communities, built partnerships, and strengthened systems to institutionalize a successful program of prevention, care, and treatment across the country. I also congratulate Ethiopia’s team of health professionals on the ground,” added the Ambassador.
Dr.Ebba Abate, on his part said, the assessment implies the government’s big effort and good achievements in assisting those who are affected by HIV.
Dr.Christin Rose, CDC Ethiopia country director said, the government of Ethiopia and America’s partnership and collaborative effort to control HIV achieved great result. Though, there are also gaps that need also strong intervention and we will continue working in partnership to meet the goal.
A lot of questions were raised and answers and explanations were given by the parties. The issue of giving care and support, the sustainability of services given to HIV infected people, the issue of local funding, the variance of results among different researches are some of the key questions raised during the press conference.