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Analytical summary - HIV/AIDS

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Based on a single point estimate, there are nearly 1.2 million people living with HIV/AIDS in Ethiopia. The adult prevalence rate is estimated at 2.4% and the incidence rate is 0.29%. The prevalence and incidence rates significantly vary between geographical areas and gender. The urban prevalence rate is estimated at 7.7%, while the rural prevalence rate is 0.9%. The prevalence rate is 1.7% for males and 2.6% for females.

With 90 000 HIV-positive pregnant women, there are an estimated 14 000 HIV-positive births and a total of 28 000 AIDS death and an estimated 800 000 AIDS orphans annually.[1]

Following the approval of the declaration on HIV/AIDS known as Resolution 60/262 in June 2006 during the United Nations General Assembly, Ethiopia accepted the Resolution. A Multisectoral Plan of Action for Universal Access to HIV Prevention, Treatment, Care and Support in Ethiopia, 2007–2010''[2] has been developed and implemented. The programme is guided by the principle of the HIV Strategic Plan for Multisectoral Response, universal access commitment, and the ‘’Three Ones’’: one HIV/AIDS action framework, one national AIDS coordinating authority and one monitoring and evaluation system.[3]

The responses to the HIV/AIDS epidemic showed considerable progress and achieved encouraging results. However, the nature of the epidemic and its fuelling factors creates a complex challenge to the ability of health and other sectors to meet the targets for HIV/AIDS control in Ethiopia. Insufficient human resources, weak supply of management and distribution, and weak mid-level managerial capacity at regional and district levels are key challenges in the country’s response to HIV/AIDS.[3]

Antiretroviral treatment coverage reached 62.3%, which is above the sub-Saharan African regional average (53%). However, prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV coverage was only 9.3%. Out of the 14 000 HIV-positive births in 2010, only 34% received prophylaxis in the same year.

A total of 2309 health facilities provided a HIV/AIDS counselling and testing service in 2003 (see figure). Users of HIV counselling and testing have increased substantially; currently there are 5 853 472 users per year.[1]

Trends in the number of facilities providing antiretroviral treatment (ART), HIV counselling and testing (HCT) and prevention of mother to child transmission (PMTCT) services. Source: Ministry of Health, 2011

In addition, major programmes were implemented for care and support of orphans and vulnerable children. These consisted of educational programmes, food, shelter, and guidance and training on income-generating activities.

HIV/AIDS awareness is universal in Ethiopia with 97% of women and 99% of men being aware of the disease. Awareness does not vary much by background characteristics with the exception of education; those with no education are less likely to know about HIV/AIDS. Overall, women residing in urban areas are more likely to be knowledgeable about HIV prevention methods than women residing in rural areas. The same pattern is true for men. Higher educational attainment is positively associated with an increased awareness of HIV prevention methods for both women and men.

Knowledge of HIV prevention methods has increased since 2005, especially among women. Although the overall prevention awareness is higher among men, HIV/AIDS prevention knowledge among women increased from 35% in 2005 to 43% in 2011, while among men aged 15–49 years the increase in prevention knowledge was from 57% to 64% during the same period.[4]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Health Sector Development Programme IV. Annual performance report. Addis Ababa, Government of Ethiopia, Ministry of Health, 2010
  2. Multisectoral Plan of Action for Universal Access to HIV Prevention, Treatment, Care and Support in Ethiopia, 2007–2010 (pdf 1.4Mb). Addis Ababa, HIV/AIDS Prevention and Control Office
  3. 3.0 3.1 Government of Ethiopia, Ministry of Health
  4. Ethiopian demographic and health survey, 2011 (pdf 683.08kb). Addis Ababa, Central Statistics Agency; Calverton Maryland, ICF Macro