March 13, 2001

From GTZ:
The GTZ Project Support Unit for HIV/AIDS has been busy in the last four months. GTZ is particularly focusing on HIV/AIDS counseling and peer education in the work-place. A December planning workshop with counterpart focal persons was followed by a January “Challenges in HIV/AIDS Counseling” workshop, both in Addis Ababa. More detailed information will be posted on Friday (15 March) at and is also available by contacting GTZ PSU, PO Box 23962, code 1000, Addis Ababa; tel: 660245 / 663568; fax: 652731; and e-mail: <>

HIV Infection Rate of Ethiopian Prostitutes at 74%: AIDS Weekly, 03/12/2001
2001 MAR 12 - ( & -- by Michael Greer, staff medical
writer -- New insight into the practices of Addis Ababa sex workers may help forge HIV prevention strategies for other developing countries, researchers say. M. Aklilu and colleagues with The Netherlands' Municipal Health Service studied the prevalence of HIV infection among Addis Ababa prostitutes, as well as factors influencing the infection rate.
        A startlingly high proportion - almost 74% - of these women tested positive for HIV, Aklilu et al. reported in the journal AIDS.
        Syphilis infection and injectable hormone use led to an increased risk of infection among the women studied. Factors that tended to prevent infection were academic and peer education, oral contraceptive and/or condom use, and birth in Addis Ababa, study data showed.
        Interestingly, Aklilu et al. found that condoms were used more consistently to prevent pregnancy than to prevent HIV infection ("Factors associated with HIV-1 infection among sex workers of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia," AIDS, 2001;15(1):87-96).
        Syphilis affliction was correlated most strongly with HIV infection, the researchers noted, while birth in Addis Ababa and contraceptive condom use were the most important factor in HIV prevention.
        "Condom use was higher, and HIV prevalence lower, in sex workers using condoms not only for prevention of HIV and sexually transmitted diseases, but also for contraceptive purpose," Aklilu and colleagues concluded. "This finding is of particular interest for its implications for
prevention strategies among sex workers in the developing world."
        The corresponding author for this report is M. Aklilu, Municipal Health Services, Division of Public Health and Environment, Amsterdam, The

Key points reported in this study include:
* Almost three-fourths of Addis Ababa prostitutes are infected with HIV
* Syphilis infection was strongly associated with increased HIV risk
* Sex workers who used condoms for contraception were more likely to use
them consistently than women using condoms for HIV prevention

This article was prepared by AIDS Weekly editors from staff and other

Updating Information: It is six months since the MESOB began networking around HIV/AIDS. The package of information introduced in August 2000 is being update this month and the following will be available by end March (e-mail, post, on-line and pick-up):

—HIV/AIDS Action Inventory: who’s who; who’s doing what
—HIV/AIDS in Ethiopia: background brief
—Information on the Multi-sectoral AIDS Program (GoE and WB)
—Documentation, resource mobilization, Africa-wide and international programs and information resources

Please let us know if you are interested in receiving a copy of the information package—and in what format (e-mail, post, pick-up)—when it is ready. (Contact: Martha and Renee at NNS/MESOB tel: 514575; 519032 and e-mail <>)