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Leaders urged to publicly test for HIV/AIDS
Saturday 4 December 2004
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ETHIOPIA: Leaders urged to publicly test for HIV/AIDS

[This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations]


Julie Gerberding, CDC director

ADDIS ABABA, 21 September (PLUSNEWS) - Ethiopia needs to expand its voluntary HIV/AIDS counselling and testing (VCT) centres to stem the tide of the pandemic, Julie Gerberding, a senior US health official, urged on Monday.

Gerberding, director of the Centre for Disease Control, also called on public figures to have public tests to help in ending stigma surrounding the virus. "Having a visible political leader getting an HIV test helps, there is no question about it," she said. "I would encourage all leaders to have an HIV test as I have done."

According to the UN AIDS programme, UNAIDS, there are some 282 VCT centres in Ethiopia - a 60 percent increase in the number of centres countrywide. Gerberding said expansion of VCT centres was crucial in impeding the spread of the virus.

"Unfortunately the number of people being tested in Ethiopia is too small," she told reporters in the capital, Addis Ababa. "There are many infected people who have not yet been diagnosed. This includes people whose lifestyles and behaviour puts them at risk."

Ethiopia is one of 15 countries worldwide targeted under the US president's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief. The funding is part of President George Bush's US $15 billion allocated over the next five years to combat HIV/AIDS. Ethiopia expects to get $43 million under the scheme that will provide anti-retroviral drugs for 210,000 people, care and support for more than a million people and prevent 552,000 new cases. Gerberding praised the government for "scaling up" new anti-HIV programmes.


Recent ETHIOPIA Reports
Prime minister's wife takes public HIV test,  1/Dec/04
Musicians join politicians to fight HIV/AIDS,  18/Nov/04
Q/A with WHO Assistant Director-General,  27/Sep/04
US grants $18 million for HIV/AIDS,  27/Apr/04
New project launched to help HIV/AIDS-affected families,  23/Apr/04
VIH Internet
Sida Info Services
Le Fonds mondial de lutte contre le SIDA, la tuberculose et le paludisme
Le Réseau Afrique 2000

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