Oromia Regional State is located in the center of Ethiopia and is the most populous regional state in the country. Based on the 1994 Population and Housing Census, the projected population of the region was estimated at 23,704,000 at the end of 2002 with a rural population of 87.7%. The population of the region is characterized by high population growth, increasing at a rate of 2.9 percent annually. Over 45% of the population is under 15 years of age, while the economically active age group at about 50%.
Although more than half the population lives in rural areas, the health infrastructure is underdeveloped and the distribution is urban-biased. Since a large portion of the population does not have access to safe water nor sanitation facilities, many are severely afflicted by water borne diseases. The major causes of morbidity are malaria, respiratory infections, HIV/AIDS, skin infections diarrhea diseases and intestinal parasitic infections.
The HIV/AIDS status in Oromia has not yet been studied with adequate coverage and good quality data. However, general trends and observations on the spread of HIV/AIDS in Oromia are available from a number of sources. Factors that impact on HIV/AIDS situation in Oromia are many and diverse. Consequently, efforts are being made to prevent the spread of HIV in Oromia and significant results have been achieved. Nevertheless, owing to these direct causes and underlying factors HIV/AIDS has continued to spread.
Read more on the OHAPCO Activities and the Strategic Plan to Fight HIV/AIDS, 2003