EPHI is Reviewing HIV Case Surveillance
Annual Technical Review Meeting on HIV Case Surveillance has been officially started on December 14, 2023 in Hawassa and will continue for the next two days.
Dr. Mesay Hailu Director General of the Ethiopian Public Health Institute (EPHI) while officially opening the meeting indicated that EPHI has been entrusted with the crucial mandate of conducting HIV related survey and surveillance activities and also provide indispensable data for program monitoring and informed decision making.
EPHI’s Deputy Director General Dr. Getachew Tollera also said that the meeting will address the challenges posed by HIV through a comprehensive and insightful review of case-based Surveillance data and HIV trendes in Ethiopia.
Mr. Bedlu Bademo, representing the Director General of Sidama Public Health Institute stressed that HIV still remains a threat in the region and efforts have continued to prevent and control the epidemic.
According to Dr. Gemechu Tadesse Director of EPHI’s TB, HIV Research Directorate, Ethiopia’s HIV Case Surveillance (CS) report, since June 2019 to December 2022, offers critical insights into new HIV diagnoses, with a focus on age, gender, and regional disparities. Of the 62,063 individuals newly diagnosed with HIV, 22,988 cases reported in 2022 alone. Distinct regional variations were observed, with Addis Ababa, Oromia, and Amhara regions contributing 78% of cases, emphasizing the need for targeted interventions in high-burden areas. Gender dynamics are pronounced, with 64% of newly diagnosed individuals being females, signalling the importance of gender-sensitive approaches.
Age-wise, adolescents aged 15-19 years exhibited 19% recent HIV infection rate, while those aged 20-24 years showed a 14% infection rate, underscoring the vulnerability of youth. Following their infection status knowledge there was high linkage to HIV care and treatment services for 97% cases and 87% of them initiating antiretroviral therapy (ART) within 15 days of diagnosis. The findings emphasize the importance of region-specific, age-appropriate, and gender-sensitive strategies in Ethiopia’s ongoing efforts to combat HIV/AIDS.
On the opening of the meeting representatives of CDC Ethiopia, ICAP and PSI have delivered key note addresses.