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International News

Ethiopian Death Toll From AIDS May Double in Three Years: U.S. Study

April 13, 2005

Unless current HIV infection rates in Ethiopia are reduced and those infected receive care, the country could lose almost 2 million people to the disease by 2008, according to a new study released in Addis Ababa. "The total population lost to AIDS was about 900,000 in 2003 and is projected to reach 1.8 million by 2008 if the present trends continue," said the 38-page report, issued ahead of a May meeting of officials from 15 nations -- including Ethiopia -- targeted by President George W. Bush's five-year, $15 billion Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief.

The report was conducted under the auspices of the emergency plan and compiled by U.S., UN, Ethiopian AIDS Secretariat and Health Ministry experts.

HIV/AIDS is responsible for about one-third of all adult deaths in Ethiopia, and the "loss of Ethiopian citizens in the most productive years of their lives, and related HIV/AIDS morbidity has a detrimental impact on economic growth," stated the report.

Among the report's findings:


  • Ethiopia is vulnerable to HIV/AIDS due to its high birth and malnourishment rates, limited access to health services, high illiteracy rates, and oppressive poverty.

  • The demobilization of Ethiopia's military at the conclusion of its 1998-2002 border war with Eritrea exacerbated the spread of HIV as about 75,000 soldiers returned home.

  • At an Addis Ababa hospital for former and current security officers and their families, AIDS patients occupy 80 percent of the beds, and the HIV prevalence among patients is 30 percent.

  • The HIV infection rate for active duty soldiers along the border is 6 percent, and it is 9 percent among soldiers deployed in rear positions.

  • During 1998-2000, AIDS mortality grew by 5 percent among teachers, and a third were absent for one or more weeks due to AIDS-related illnesses or deaths in the family.

In January, Ethiopia initiated an antiretroviral drug rollout plan intended to save 78,000 lives annually.

Back to other news for April 13, 2005

Adapted from:
Agence France Presse

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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.
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