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Objectives and Methods: The literature is reviewed to briefly examine the potential role of eight community-based organizations and agents as well as poverty reduction programs in the prevention and control of HIV/AIDS in Ethiopia. Particular attention is given to the role of the kebele (cooperative neighborhood associations), traditional birth attendants (TBAs), community health agents (CHAs), health extension agents, anti-AIDS clubs in high schools, traditional healers, home-based AIDS patient care programs, and iqqubs, traditional credit associations, in the prevention of HIV transmission and the care and support of AIDS patients.
Conclusion and Recommendations: Most community-based organizations appear to be suitable for HIV/AIDS prevention and patient care programs, although well-documented results to date are scarce. Operational research at the community level may guide the selection and strengthening of these organizations and indicate how best to upgrade programs to the regional and national levels. The performance record and limitations of individual organizations and the program-related problems they face suggest that while some progress has been made, plans for their wider use must consider local socioeconomic conditions, needs, and preferences in order to meet community expectations and capacities.