In December 2002, Ethiopia's HIV/AIDS Prevention and Control Office (HAPCO) and The Johns Hopkins Center for Communication Programs (JHU/CCP) established an AIDS Resource Center (ARC) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The Center is designed to serve as a hub for HIV/AIDS, sexually tranmitted infections (STIs) and Tuberculosis (TB) information for journalists, health providers, government departments, and HIV/AIDS organisations and programmes. The resource centre offers its services free of charge.
Communication Strategies: 

ARC offers a variety of materials, services, and equipment free of charge, including:

  • Multimedia resources:
    • A multimedia reference collection including periodicals, official guidelines, general and scientific books, brochures, videos, CD-ROMs, DVDs, audiocassettes, and novelty items. A publicly accessible, searchable catalogue is available.
    • Computer terminals that allow users to browse multimedia collection holdings, conduct Internet research, and run CD-ROMs.
    • Audiovisual equipment that enables examination of CDs, DVDs, videos, and audiocassettes.
    • Organisational, funding, and conference calendar databases compiled by the ARC that promote the activities of local and international HIV/AIDS organisations and facilitate network building.
    • An e-mail list server and website.
  • ARC is developing a standarised set of print and audiovisual behaviour change communication materials for programme managers nationwide. Topics will include HIV/AIDS prevention, HIV transmission, voluntary counseling and testing (VCT), care and support of orphans and persons living with HIV, and living positively with HIV/AIDS.
  • A computerised tracking system allows organisations to request local and international HIV/AIDS, STD, and TB (print and audiovisual) materials for dissemination purposes.
  • ARC trains journalists in HIV/AIDS reporting and serves as an ongoing source of information for those journalists.
  • ARC supports the AIDS Hotline managed by the Organization for Social services for AIDS (OSSA). Hotlines have proved to be an effective means for people to access free and anonymous HIV/AIDS information and referrals.
  • ARC encourages networking and coordination of all HIV/AIDS players. This will in part be accomplished through the development of a database of all HIV/AIDS organisations and projects.
  • Development Issues: 

    HIV/AIDS, Reproductive Health, TB.

    Key Points: 

    In 2001, an IEC gap analysis completed by Population Communication Services (the USAID-supported program operated by JHU/CCP in Ethiopia) revealed that quality, culturally appropriate HIV/AIDS materials are limited in Ethiopia. Those that do exist are frequently out of date and often out of print. Generally, access to any HIV/AIDS information in Ethiopia is severely limited, especially for the smaller, rural AIDS projects. In addition, there is a need for better coordination of HIV/AIDS IEC and programme activities to prevent duplication of resources.

    Organisers point out that in Ethiopia, the demand for HIV testing is growing and with that, a demand for HIV/AIDS information. Not only do the VCT sites require support materials for providers and clients, but VCT is inextricably linked to all aspects of HIV/AIDS and therefore creates a demand for information on issues such as treatment, care and support, TB, STIs, and mother-to-child transmission (MTCT).

    Partners may consider expanding to other regional sites that will be networked through the main centre in Addis Ababa. There are also plans for an expanded audiovisual unit, additional databases, and a national HIV/AIDS telephone hotline.

    Partner Text: 

    HAPCO, with technical assistance from JHU/CCP and Analytical Sciences Inc. Funding provided by The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The advisory committee consisted of a number of UN agencies and ministries.


    Letter sent from Kim Martin to The Communication Initiative on December 10, 2002; and ARC site.