Symposium on Reproductive Health and Infectious Disease challenges - Day two

While, this symposium made and witnessed spectacular speakers and presentations on the first day, the second and final day saw many interesting and significant presentations taking place.  The morning session had two interesting presenters talking at length on Assessment of Khat and alcohol use with HIV infection and their age among those visiting counseling centers and Anemia and risk factors in HAART naïve and HAART positive patients in Southwest Ethiopia by Mr. Marelign Tilahun and Mr. Lealem Gedefaw respectively.

Mr. Tilahun outlined that HIV/AIDS poses enormous challenges worldwide and in 2010 – 33.4 million people were living with HIV AIDS worldwide and of these 67% were in sub Saharan Africa. One of the specific objective of this study is to find out sexual initiation at median age and study period was from Jan 23 to April 25 2012.  Using stratified sampling method, a total of 410 people were studied and structured questionnaire was used.  Alcohol consumption and khat chewing effect on sexual initiation was studied at length and it was found out 63% had sex before 18 and 36% after 18.   The casual sex came to 61% and alcohol consumption was found out to be 80% The loss of rational judgement linked to association of Khat and alcohol consumption with early sexual initiation. In the age group of 20-24 it was found out that 91 were HIV positive and 203 were HIV negative.   Mr. Tilahun in his summation has pointed out that alcohol consumption has increased sexual desire and became prone to HIV infection


Mr. Lealem Gedefaw  in his seminar presentation on Anemia and risk factors in HAART naïve and HAART experienced HIV positive participants in Southwest Ethiopia underlined anemia is a global health problem and common problem in Ethiopia.   Worldwide, 1.62 billion people were affected and more in advanced HIV, he stated.   The major cause of HIV/AIDS associated anemia is HIV infection itself and it’s a major cause of morbidity in HIV.   Untreated anemia leads to decreased survival rate in HIV and this study had studied all HIV positive patients visiting JUSH ART clinic.

The study while collecting socio- demographic  information, clinical information, blood specimens and stool samples, obtained ethical clearance also.   234 participants were studied and among them 38% were males and 62% were females and 23.1% had anemia and it was found out that while anemia was high in Iran, it was low in India, Nigeria and the USA. It was found out that HAART naïve patients had high prevalence of anemia of 29.9%  He has also underlined that HAART initiation have important role in reducing anemia in HIV positive people.

Morning session witnessed spectacular questions and raised serious issues on these two important presentations with wider participation.   The symposium had an overview to be presented on Arba Minch Demographic development program and presentation of a concluding report and certificates .  The participants and guests will be treated to a recreational visit and fabulous dinner at Tourist hotel later in the evening when the program will come to an end.