Ethiopian Health Minister Dr Kebede Worku has said that there has been a significant jump in HIV/AIDS infection among women in the country. The prevalence rate is 5 percent.
'Women are vulnerable to the HIV/Aids pandemic due to their low socio-economic status in Ethiopia, on top of their biological factors,' he said. 'The national surveillance report estimates the HIV prevalence among women in the country to be 5 percent.' He was speaking at the annual conference of the Ethiopian Medical Association.
AdvertisementA senior AIDS official said that the rate of infections in women was higher than the national average of 4.4 percent. 'The 5% HIV/Aids prevalence among women is bad news, since it shows that there is still a lot that needs to be done in preventing the spread of the disease among women,' he said. 'This is a wake-up call to the government and others working to curtail the spread of HIV/Aids.'
The minister said that a free anti-retroviral treatment (ART) program had been launched in January 2005 and around 35,000 people had benefited from it so far.