Ethiopia: New report shows progress in expanding HIV treatment

ESAT News (December 11, 2018)

A new report released in connection with the World AIDS day shows Ethiopia has shown significant progress toward achieving epidemic control.

“70% of HIV-positive adults in urban Ethiopia are virally suppressed. This encouraging result is close to the Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) target of achieving viral suppression of 73% by 2020,” according to the report.

According to the U.S. Embassy in Addis Ababa, the Ethiopian Public Health Institute (EPHI) the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and ICAP at Columbia University (ICAP) released new survey data demonstrating Ethiopia’s progress in confronting its HIV epidemic, as well as challenges still to be addressed.

“The study showed significant progress in ART coverage: among HIV-positive adults ages 15-64 years in urban Ethiopia who knew their status, 99% reported current use of ART. Still there is much work to be done to ensure that all persons living with HIV know their status and are initiated on treatment, with disparities remaining across regions, age and sex groups.”

“The government is committed to increasing its efforts to expand access to HIV testing and link people living with HIV to care,” said Dr. Ebba Abate, Ethiopia Public Health Institute (EPHI) General Director.

According to the study, Ethiopia is among only a few countries in Africa that are within reach of meeting the UNAIDS treatment goals by 2020, namely: having 90 percent of those infected know their status; having 90 percent of those diagnosed receive treatment; and having 90 percent of those receiving treatment achieve viral suppression.

“The partnership between the United States Government and Ethiopia has resulted in remarkable progress in the fight against HIV,” said CDC Country Director Christine Ross, M.D. “While we celebrate this achievement, we must continue to diligently work together to address the gaps that remain.”

The EPHIA Project is funded by the U.S. government through The U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and conducted by the Ministries of Health, CDC, ICAP, and other governmental and non-governmental partners.

The U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief PEPFAR is the United States government’s response to the global HIV/AIDS epidemic, which represents the largest commitment by any nation to address a single disease in history, according to a press release by the Embassy.