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ETHIOPIA: US helps set up AIDS testing centre

Photo: IRIN
US ambassador Aurelia Brazeal
ADDIS ABABA, 7 April 2003 (PlusNews) - The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has pledged almost US $500,000 for an HIV/AIDS testing centre for thousands of people in Addis Ababa.

The testing centre was established by the Organisation for Social Services for AIDS (OSSA), the oldest Ethiopian NGO working on AIDS in the country.

It provides HIV test results on the same day, using three rapid tests, which in combination are 100 percent accurate.

The site started operations in March 2002 and has provided services to over 3,470 clients to date, of which a staggering 32 percent tested HIV positive.

Meanwhile US Ambassador Aurelia Brazeal donated HIV surveillance equipment and supplies worth US $658,000 to the Ethiopian ministry of health.

The donation follows a deal between the CDC and ministry of health to fight HIV/AIDS and other infectious diseases.

"One of the goals of the programme of assistance is to increase the quality of the national HIV surveillance system and data," the US embassy said.

"Accurate and reliable surveillance data are used to estimate the number of people infected by the virus, monitor trends in the epidemic, set programme priorities, and evaluate the effectiveness of prevention and control programmes," it said.

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