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2.1m living with HIV in Mozambique – Minister

Mozambique’s Health Minister, Nazira Abdula has said more than 2.1 million people are living with HIV in Mozambique, of which around 54 percent are on treatment regimes.According to the minister, of this number, about 64 percent, which represents 1.9 million of the country’s population of 28.8 million are aware of their status.

Abdula released the figures on Tuesday at the opening of the 7th national meeting of the Program for the Control of Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) and HIV and AIDS to assess the degree of implementation of the HIV / AIDS Response Acceleration Plan in Mozambique in 2013 -2017.

To cope with the rise in the number of people living with HIV, the government has, according to the minister, developed a number of activities, including raising awareness about the need to respond to prevention messages.

She said that one of the biggest challenges is to fortify communication through the “Mozambicanization” of messages.

At the time, the minister expressed concern about weak male engagement, which compromised the reach of more people for the diagnosis and timely start of treatment, “negatively affecting the adherence and retention of women in anti-retroviral treatment.”

Between 2013 and 2017 the country experienced a significant increase in the number of patients with access to ART.

According to Abdula, stigma and discrimination continues to be the major problems that make HIV-positive more
psychologically debilitated, inhibiting them from seeking information, services, clinical care, and adopting safer methods and behaviors.

The Health ministry in Mozambique has set a 90 percent target of diagnosed people receiving HIV treatment by 2020.

The HIV and AIDS pandemic in Mozambique represents a serious public health concern that is dramatically conditioning the development efforts of the national economy by affecting a large proportion of the young population aged 15-49.

Data from IMASIDA (2017) indicates that HIV prevalence in this age group is 13.2 percent.

Mozambique has the world’s eighth highest HIV prevalence.

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