EngenderHealth Leads HIV Project to Reach At-Risk Urban Population in Ethiopia
EngenderHealth has been awarded a three-year, $6 million project from the U.S. Agency for International Development to expand HIV prevention services among Ethiopian adults and young people involved in or at risk of transactional sex—those who exchange sex for money or goods. Activities will be focused in select urban areas and reach both those engaged in sex work and informal transactional sex, as well as their clients and partners.
EngenderHealth will launch a comprehensive package of HIV prevention services, including: peer education, condom distribution and promotion, stigma reduction, mobile testing and counseling, and drop-in centers for vulnerable women and girls. Recognizing that many women and girls rely on transactional sex because they have few alternatives for making a living, the project will also incorporate income-generation activities.
“By bringing HIV prevention services to venues associated with transactional sex, we can reach the women and men most at risk—and address the underlying factors, like alcohol abuse and limited access to condoms and other information and services, that go hand-in-hand with HIV transmission,” said Paul Perchal, director of EngenderHealth’s HIV program.
EngenderHealth will lead a team of partners to implement this project, including the local organizations: Timret Le Hiwot, Integrated Services for AIDS Prevention and Support Organization, and Addis Continental Institute of Public Health.
Through this award, EngenderHealth will also receive additional funds to continue the Male Norms Initiative in Ethiopia, which began in 2007. This work will complement the project, addressing the significant role that gender socialization plays in HIV transmission. The new funding will expand activities that challenge men’s attitudes and behaviors that contribute to higher risk for acquiring or spreading HIV, while engaging men and young people in prevention efforts.
EngenderHealth is a leading international reproductive health organization working to improve the quality of health care in the world’s poorest communities. EngenderHealth empowers people to make informed choices about contraception, trains health providers to make motherhood safer, promotes gender equity, enhances the quality of HIV and AIDS services, and advocates for positive policy change. The nonprofit organization works in partnership with governments, institutions, communities, and health care professionals in 25 countries around the world. For 65 years, EngenderHealth has reached more than 100 million people to help them realize a better life. For more information, visit www.engenderhealth.org.