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April 23, 2009 3:56 PM
Posted by Kristi Heim
PATH received two major grants this week for work on HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment programs.
One is a $35 million three-year contract to help Ethiopian communities respond to the HIV/AIDS epidemic. The Seattle global health non-profit received the grant from the US Agency for International Development (USAID) to help nongovernmental organizations improve and coordinate their efforts to provide services for people affected by HIV/AIDS.
SIEGFRIED MODOLA / AFP/GETTY IMAGES
About 2 percent of people in Ethiopia are living with HIV, according to UNAIDS. Ethiopia has a relatively low level of the disease, particularly when compared to sub-Saharan Africa where HIV affects more than 20 percent of the population in some countries.
But in urban areas of Ethiopia, as much as ten percent of the population is affected, and the epidemic which has undermined the workforce, reduced life expectancy and weakened health systems. Further background on the situation in Ethiopia is here and here.
The USAID project aims to improve access to HIV/AIDS treatment and services, strengthen community and home-based services, and raise awareness and demand for high-quality affordable services. PATH is targeting more than 900,000 people in 300 towns.
MARK HARRISON/SEATTLE TIMES
Partners include Dawn of Hope Ethiopia Association, Hope for Children Organization, International HIV/AIDS Alliance, International Relief & Development, International Training & Education Center on HIV, Mekdim Ethiopia National Association, Organization for Social Services for AIDS, and Westat.
PATH also received a US$17 million grant from the Canadian International Development Agency to strengthen HIV-prevention efforts through research and evaluation of the effectiveness of different strategies. The program's objective is assess how best to avert HIV infections among high-risk populations.
PATH is expanding and moving its Seattle headquarters from Ballard to South Lake Union, where many of its partners working in biotechnology are clustered.
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