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UNFPA in collaboration with the Gambella Region HIV/AIDS Prevention and Control Office organized a panel discussion under the theme “Enhancing the Role of the Youth and Adolescents on HIV Prevention.” The event was organized on December 11 in connection with the World AIDS Day 2019.  

Making remarks on the occasion, President of the Gambella Region, H.E. Omod Ojulu, underlined the need to strengthen the role of young people in an effort to curb the spread of HIV in the Gambella Region. The President said HIV is negatively impacting the future generation and called on all stakeholders to work together in preventing the alarming spread of the virus in the Region. The President added that the Region should leave this challenge behind and project a positive image.

Speaking on the Occasion, Deputy Director-General of the Federal HIV/AIDS Prevention and Control Office, Ato Abraham Gebreegziabher, noted that the Region ought to focus on the most at risk sections of the population and areas in the effort at curbing the spread of the virus, adding the need for a multi-sectoral collaboration.  

For his part, Assistant Representative of UNFPA, Dr. Awoke Tassew, indicated that UNFPA is supporting nationally HIV Prevention and Adolescent & Youth Health initiatives underscoring that the Fund will continue to support strategically and programmatically adolescent and youth programmes in the Gambella Region including HIV prevention.  

Studies indicate that HIV has been expanding alarmingly in the Gambella Region despite the corresponding decline nationally. The HIV prevalence rate of 4.8 in the Gambella Region remains quite high compared to the effort at bringing down the national prevalence to 0.9.