A new resource center with accurate and up-to-date information on HIV/AIDS will be established in Ethiopia, a country that has one of the world's highest HIV prevalence rates, by the Johns Hopkins University Center for Communication Programs.
The center is made possible through a $300,000 cooperative agreement between JHU/CCP and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. CDC is responsible for HIV/AIDS prevention in the United States and also assists other countries in developing, implementing and evaluating HIV/ AIDS prevention, care and treatment programs.
The Ethiopia AIDS Resource Center--to be centrally located in the capital city of Addis Ababa--will provide journalists, health-care workers, government officials and HIV/AIDS organizations with the latest information and materials on HIV/AIDS, other sexually transmitted diseases and tuberculosis. The center plans to include print and Web-based resources and to support a local AIDS telephone hotline that provides information and counseling services.
"Ethiopia has been devastated by the HIV/AIDS epidemic, and there's a crying need for accurate and accessible information," said Tadesse Wuhib, director for CDC-Ethiopia.
According to the CDC, Ethiopia has just 1 percent of the world's population but 9 percent of the worldwide cases of HIV/AIDS. The disease has orphaned more than 700,000 Ethiopian children, and more than a million people have died due to AIDS.
In addition to housing a clearinghouse of already available HIV/AIDS prevention materials, the resource center will develop new high-quality print and audiovisual materials specifically for Ethiopia. The center also will provide training and source material for Ethiopian journalists to enhance their reporting on the epidemic.
"Our goal is for this center to serve as a hub for everyone working in Ethiopia to fight HIV/AIDS," Wuhib said.