PRI’s ‘The World’ Profiles U.S.-Trained Ethiopian Resident Running ‘Novel’ HIV/AIDS Hotline
"The World" -- a co-production of BBC World Service, PRI and WGBH Boston -- on Monday profiled Sofnias Nega, a U.S.-trained Ethiopian who runs an HIV/AIDS telephone hotline in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Although such hotlines are "commonplace" in the U.S. and Europe, the idea is "novel" in Ethiopia, where approximately 1.5 million Ethiopians are estimated to be HIV-positive, PRI reports. Nega, who received his masters degree from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, manages a staff of 24 paid and volunteer counselors who field an average of 2,000 calls each day. The "pressures of the job are high," with counselors handling calls on topics ranging from suicide to the possibility of HIV transmission through infidelity, "but at least Ethiopians are now willing to discuss HIV and AIDS openly," according to PRI. The segment also includes an interview with Sister Benedict, a physician and mother superior of Sisters of Charity, which runs an HIV/AIDS clinic in Addis Ababa (Werman, "The World," PRI, 11/7).
The complete segment is available online in Windows Media. A related slide show is available online.