HIV Cases in Harari State Said Alarmingly High

HARARI, Nov. 22 (WIC) The spread of HIV at an alarming rate in Harari National State has become cause for great concern, the head of the Disease Control and Prevention Department of the State disclosed.

The Department head, Dr. Nesredin Jami, told WIC today that the number of HIV cases, which stood at only two, ten years ago has now jumped to 2,600, based on studies conducted in five hospitals in the state.

Noting that the reported number of HIV cases is exclusive of aids victims who visited private health institutions and those who remain at home, Dr. Nesredin said the alarming rate with which the disease was spreading has become cause for great concern.  He said this was so particularly given the size and population of the state.

Dr. Nesredin who said the youths were by far the largest group of victims, attributed the rapid spread of the disease to the uncontrolled indulgence in sex by the youth, under the influence of "chat" and alcoholic drinks.

To arrest the spread of the disease, studies towards the establishment of an anti-aids board at the State level were underway, he said.

Approached by WIC, some residents of Harar town blamed the State health Bureau for the spread of the disease saying that the Bureau has to date failed to launch a strong educational campaign to create awareness and bring about behavioral change in the society.