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Many Ethiopians Coming to Camp in Search of Traditional Cure for HIV Turn to ARVs, WSJ Reports

March 6, 2012

The Wall Street Journal examines how many HIV-positive Ethiopians coming to a "squatter's camp" at Ethiopia's Entoto Mountain in the hopes that a spring believed to contain holy water would cure HIV instead begin treatment with antiretrovirals (ARVs). "The country's traditional and often superstitious views toward AIDS commonly lead to exile for the disease's sufferers," the newspaper writes, adding, "But modern methods are gaining more purchase, in recent years resulting in a greater number of Ethiopians on antiretroviral therapy and a decline in AIDS-related deaths."

"By February 2007, Johns Hopkins University had started supporting an HIV clinic at a hospital near Entoto," the Wall Street Journal notes, adding, "As the clinic integrated [ARVs] into the holy water treatment, residents began to accept the pills, said Meg Doherty, a Johns Hopkins infectious disease specialist who worked in Ethiopia from 2005 to 2010." The newspaper profiles several residents of the camp (Jordan, 3/5).

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