HIV/AIDS leads to 17,181 deaths in Ethiopia in 2017

By Andualem Sisay Gessesse

A research paper released by the Global Burden of Disease (GBD) reveals that HIV/AIDS was responsible for 17,181 deaths in Ethiopia in 2017.

The data collected by GBD shows that Despite the rapid scale-up of antiretroviral therapy (ART) since 2000, HIV/AIDS is still the most common cause of death in sub-Saharan Africa, according to data from the Global Burden of Disease. The scientific paper reveals striking variation in HIV prevalence at provincial and district levels. The paper, published in Nature, provides precise geographic estimates of HIV prevalence and numbers of people living with HIV to identify priority areas for health care support to reduce the burden of HIV.

“Changing the trajectory of HIV/AIDS in Africa requires that we continue to seek better ways to know the epidemic. This paper will support policymakers and health care providers in locating hotspots of HIV/AIDS at national and subnational levels, and will help guide smart investment of scarce resources for diagnosis, prevention, and treatment,” said Dr. John Nkengasong, director of the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC).

The study, conducted at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington, is the first to map HIV prevalence among adults ages 15-49 comprehensively at a granular, subnational level for all 47 countries in sub-Saharan Africa. The results show high variation in prevalence and changes in prevalence over time within countries.

In 2017, the highest estimated HIV prevalence at the second administrative level in Ethiopia was 3.5% in Majang Zone. The lowest prevalence was 0.3% in Dawro Zone. The study found that the largest number of people aged 15-49 living with HIV (PLHIV) reside in Region 14, a zone of Addis Ababa.

Reports show that HIV prevalence in Ethiopia is 1.1% and incidence of 0.33/1000 population having low-intensity mixed epidemic.

As indicated in its 2018-2010 HIV Prevention National Roadmap by 2020 Ethiopia targets to achieve the following:
• Reduce adult new HIV infection by 50 percent from the 2016 baseline of 9,800 to 4,900
• Reach 90 percent of adolescent girls and young women in high burden areas.
• Reach 90 percent of key and priority populations with combination HIV prevention
• Distribute 200,000,000 condoms per year (50 percent to key population groups)
• Allocate 25 percent of the overall HIV/AIDS funding to HIV prevention