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Ethiopia: Treatment of AIDS or HIV infected persons, the societal attitudes towards them, the availability of treatment, incidents of discrimination or selective withholding of treatment

Publisher Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada
Author Research Directorate, Immigration and Refugee Board, Canada
Publication Date 1 September 1998
Citation / Document Symbol ETH29982.E
Cite as Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Ethiopia: Treatment of AIDS or HIV infected persons, the societal attitudes towards them, the availability of treatment, incidents of discrimination or selective withholding of treatment, 1 September 1998, ETH29982.E, available at: [accessed 26 November 2015]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.


No information on incidents of discrimination or selective withholding of treatment from AIDS or HIV infected persons could be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate.

CARE states that "deeply ingrained beliefs and cultural practices in some rural areas are contributing to the HIV/AIDS and population problems" such as the reluctance of men to accept family planning, the wide perception that AIDS is not a problem touching one's community and men's refusal to use contraceptives (1 Sept. 1998).

Africa News reports that "according to ENA [Ethiopian News Agency], AIDS may kill most of Ethiopia's mere [sic]  under 50 over the next decade unless preventive action is taken. The National HIV/AIDS Control Program disclosed that 2.5 million of the nation's 58 million people have either developed AIDS or carry HIV. Last year, WHO [World Health Organization] had estimated that around 200,000 Ethiopians were infected with HIV. (25 Aug. 1998)"

A Xinhua article also reports that the Ethiopian government decided to issue "new policies, rules and regulations on aids (3 June 1998)." The Minister of Health stated at a meeting on AIDS held in June 1998 that "half health personnel working in the country's hospitals, clinics, health stations are obliged to give health care services to AIDS patients (ibid.)." A resolution adopted at this meeting "called for the establishment of  a national task force in charge of preventing the killer disease aids and providing care to aids patients (ibid)."

This project was accepted in August 1998 by Ethiopia's council of ministers which "unanimously endorsed the draft policy on HIV-AIDS  and decided to put the policy into force. The national HIV-AIDS policy is aimed at launching integrated prevention activities by governmental, non-governmental and other pertinent bodies (Xinhua, 14 Aug. 1998)."

The attached article describes a community-based health programme dealing with AIDS in Ethiopia and runned by the non-governmental organization Marie Stopes International.

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum. Please find below the list of sources consulted in researching this Information Request.


Africa News. 25 August 1998. "Ethiopia; Socio Economic Diary." (NEXIS)

CARE. "Family Health and Education in Ethiopia." [Internet]( (Accessed on 1 Sept. 1998)

Xinhua News Agency. 14 August 1998. "Ethiopia Endorses Draft Policy on HIV-AIDS." (NEXIS)

_____. 3 June 1998. "New AIDS Policies To Be Made Public in Ethiopia." (NEXIS)


Marie Stopes International. Ethiopia. [Internet] ( (Accessed on 1 September 1998)

Additional Sources Consulted

Africa Confidential [London]. 1996-1998.

African Human Rights Newsletter [Banjul, Gambia]. 1996-1998.

Africa Research Bulletin: Political Series [London]. 1996-1998.

Ethiopian Review [Los Angeles]. 1996-1997.

Horn of Africa Bulletin [Uppsala, Sweden]. 1996-1998.

Jeune Afrique [Paris].1997-1998.

Electronic sources: IRB Databases, Global News Bank,  Internet, REFWORLD, World News Connection (WNC).

Four oral sources could not be contacted for this Response to Information Request.

Copyright notice: This document is published with the permission of the copyright holder and producer Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB). The original version of this document may be found on the offical website of the IRB at Documents earlier than 2003 may be found only on Refworld.

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