“Political commitment is critically important for HIV prevention & control”

The Addis Ababa University HIV/AIDS Prevention and Control Office (AAU- HAPCO), Eagle Ethiopia and Federal HIV/AIDS Prevention and Control Office jointly organized a two days leadership capacity building training for deans, directors and line workers of the university from April 12-13, 2019 at Bishoftu.

President of the university, Prof. Tassew Woldehanna in his opening remarks said, “The University has mainstreamed the prevention and control of HIV/AIDS by establishing an office and placing human capital working on awareness creation, and counseling in the university.” Leadership development among all sectors addressing HIV/AIDS has come to be recognized as a critically important endeavor, said Prof. Tassew, from the early days of the HIV/AIDS pandemic, it has been acknowledged that strong leadership is crucial in mounting an effective response; without effective political commitment, progress and success is almost impossible.

“The university is working to ensure that students have the skills, knowledge and capacity to protect themselves from HIV during their stay on campus, “says Prof. Tassew.  

Kifle Mitiku, Directorate Director of Multisectoral Responses on HIV/AIDS at Federal HIV/AIDS Prevention and Control Office, briefed impact assessment of HIV during the training. He noted that 2 million plus new infections registered every year. He also stated risky behaviors among university students and high school students among others sex before marriage, multi-sexual partners, low condom use and pornographic films. In his briefing he also mentioned lack of HIV mainstreaming and ownership as challenges for HIV prevention. “Primary prevention needs to be scaled up vigorously and urgently to stemming the pandemic,” he concluded.  

Sisay Abebe, Eagle Ethiopia Managing Director, offered training on, “what is effective leadership?” The training features questions and reflections on HIV prevention and control, role of political commitment to prevent and Control HIV, challenges and ways forward.