Creating a Cross-Continental Exchange of Knowledge to Support Young Women in Ethiopia

By Birhan Mengistu, Senior HIV Mainstreaming Specialist, NASTAD Ethiopia and Anna Carroll, Associate, Global Program, NASTAD

Birhan Mengistu, Senior HIV Mainstreaming Specialist, NASTAD Ethiopia

Birhan Mengistu, Senior HIV Mainstreaming Specialist, NASTAD Ethiopia

Every hour, an estimated 50 young women are newly infected with HIV. In many areas of the world, gender inequalities make it especially difficult for women to access HIV prevention, treatment, and care services.  Even basic information about HIV is unattainable; UNAIDS estimates that only 38% of young women have accurate, comprehensive knowledge of HIV/AIDS.

This critical issue has not gone unnoticed in Ethiopia, where approximately 380,000 women over the age of 15 are living with HIV (the total population of Ethiopia is over 90 million). In 2009, we at NASTAD Ethiopia began working with the Federal HIV/AIDS Prevention and Control Office (HAPCO) to identify ways to support this at-risk population. Knowing that our membership of U.S. state AIDS directors had significant experience in delivery to scale of proven effective behavioral interventions targeting high risk populations through the CDC Diffused Evidence Based Interventions (DEBIs), we leveraged their skills and training expertise to modify and adapt selected DEBIs for implementation in Ethiopia. Continue reading