Workshop On HIV/AIDS Data Analysis Opens

Workshop On HIV/AIDS Data Analysis Opens

 

 

   Addis Ababa, February 11, 2002 (WIC)- A workshop is underway here on the critical

   reading and interpretation of HIV/AIDS data for better understanding of the factors involved in

   the transmission and spread of the disease, and devise better approaches to combating the

   epidemic.

 

   It was indicated in the plenary session that certain sample studies have found that improved

   greater male economic autonomy in certain groups has resulted in greater HIV prevalence

   rate.

 

   The rich, like the powerful, are more mobile, less constrained by community norms and can

   afford the lifestyles they choose, which often place them at risk of infection, the study said.

 

   An interesting revelation of the study is that greater female economic autonomy, on the

   contrary, led to less HIV/AIDS prevalence rate among women.

 

   Dr. Dagnatchew Demisse, of the National HIV/AIDS Secretariat said that this is to be explained

   by the fact that as women’s economic status improves, they become more informed about the

   disease, become more insistent on avoiding high risk  sexual practices.

 

   He added that the important lesson to be learnt from the study was that HIV/AIDS

   interventions will have more pronounced effect on women than men, and that women

   empowerment must be a top priority in any HIV/AIDS prevention activities.

 

   Speaking on the occasion, Ato Negatu Mereke, Head of the National Aids Secretariat said “in

   light of the time that has passed since the launching of Ethiopia’s HIV/AIDS program, it is

   evident there is still a lot of work to do before the spread of the disease is checked. He

   however, said the performance so far  achieved are not discouraging.

 

   The involvement of the media, civil society, including religious organizations and the private

   sector is increasingly enhanced and has shown encouraging results, he added.

 

   The two day workshop, at the Hilton organized by the United Nations Development Programe

   (UNDP) is attended by representatives from government agencies, and non-governmental

   organizations working in the prevention and control of the disease.