The Body: The Complete HIV/AIDS Resource
Follow Us Follow Us on Facebook Follow Us on Twitter Download Our App
Professionals >> Visit The Body PROThe Body en Espanol
Living With HIV: Watch Aaron's Story
  • Email Email
  • Comments Comments
  •  (1)
  • Printable Single-Page Print-Friendly
  • Glossary Glossary

International News

Group Combats HIV/AIDS in Ethiopia With Community Conversations

July 26, 2013

Holding peer-led discussion groups in communities has contributed to a significant drop of HIV/AIDS transmission in Ethiopia. KMG-Ethiopia, a community-based advocacy organization, initiated community conversations to halt cultural practices that often lead to HIV/AIDS and other sexual health issues. According to KMG, practices such as female genital mutilation and forced marriage fuel HIV/AIDS.

According to KMG, "Young women are given away to men who are much older than themselves. Young women in these communities do not have a choice. This harmful practice violates young women's rights to choice and freedom of association and puts them at risk of HIV and AIDS."

By asking communities to elect peers for facilitator training, KMG said there are now 50 peer-led community conversations throughout Ethiopia that discuss basic facts about AIDS, relationship power structures, and negotiating condom use.


Ethiopia's HIV transmission rates have dropped by 90 percent between 2001 and 2011, the largest drop in all African countries. Additionally, the country has seen a 53-percent drop in AIDS-related deaths, from 113,825 to 53, 831 people from 2005 to 2011. Due to KMG's success, the government has recently added community conversations into its HIV/AIDS prevention strategy.

Persuading communities to let go of their traditions can be difficult, but after a trip to observe the Ethiopian community conversations, Michel Sidibé, executive director of the Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS, noted that during the discussion groups, people would change their opinions about taboos and misunderstandings surrounding sex, HIV, and age-old practices like arranged marriages.

Dr. Moustapha Gueye, who first developed the method, took the idea to the United Nations Development Program, which then reached out to KMG to run a trial program in Ethiopia. KMG Founder Bogaletch Gebre won the first African Development Prize, sponsored by the Belgium-based King Baudouin Foundation, for her work on this project.

Back to other news for July 2013

Adapted from:
07.23.2013; LaToya Bowlah

  • Email Email
  • Comments Comments
  •  (1)
  • Printable Single-Page Print-Friendly
  • Glossary Glossary

This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.
See Also
Quiz: Are You at Risk for HIV?
10 Common Fears About HIV Transmission


Add Your Comment:
(Please note: Your name and comment will be public, and may even show up in
Internet search results. Be careful when providing personal information! Before
adding your comment, please read's Comment Policy.)

Your Name:

Your Location:

(ex: San Francisco, CA)

Your Comment:

Characters remaining: