Ethiopia in HIV test­ing record at­tempt

Lesotho Times - - Africa -

AD­DIS ABABA — More than 3 300 peo­ple were tested for HIV Sun­day in the Ethiopian re­gion of Gam­bella, a mas­sive turnout that ex­ceeded ex­pec­ta­tions among AIDS cam­paign­ers who had hoped to test 2 000 peo­ple, ac­cord­ing to lo­cal of­fi­cials.

Ra­hel Gettu, an of­fi­cial with the United Na­tions Aids agency in Ethiopia, said they be­lieve they broke the world record for the num­ber of HIV tests car­ried out in one day.

She said their claim was yet to be ver­i­fied and con­firmed by Guin­ness World Records.

She said 3 383 peo­ple were tested for HIV within eight hours in a sin­gle event ahead of World Aids Day. Eighty-two of them re­ceived pos­i­tive re­sults.

About 6.5 per­cent of Gam­bella res­i­dents have HIV or AIDS, a rate higher than the na­tional av­er­age of 1.5 per­cent. Of­fi­cials hope that vol­un­tary AIDS test­ing in this re­gion that bor­ders South Su­dan can lead to a re­duc­tion in the num­ber of new in­fec­tions.

“It will help to bring to­gether com­mu­ni­ties. It helps peo­ple to know their sta­tus in or­der to make in­formed choices about their lives for­ward,” said Seid Alemu, a di­rec­tor at Ethiopia’s Fed­eral HIV/AIDS Preven­tion and Con­trol Of­fice, re­fer­ring to vol­un­tary test­ing for HIV.

Mil­lions of Africans live with HIV or AIDS, and many get in­fected each year de­spite wide­spread in­ter­na­tional ef­forts to stem the epi­demic. The UN Aids agency warned ahead of World AIDS Day on Mon­day that, un­less ac­tion is scaled up in the next five years, “the epi­demic is likely to spring back with a higher rate of new HIV in­fec­tions than to­day.”

The agency is urg­ing more fund­ing for AIDS in an ap­proach that fo­cuses re­sources and ef­forts on 30 coun­tries that to­gether ac­count for 89 per­cent of new HIV in­fec­tions world­wide. — Wash­ing­ton Post

ETHIOPI­ANS line-up for an AIDS test, in Gam­bella, Ethiopia on Sun­day with the mas­sive turnout ex­ceed­ing ex­pec­ta­tions among AIDS cam­paign­ers.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Lesotho

© PressReader. All rights reserved.