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Mozambique: 11 percent of military infected with HIV/AIDS

The National Director Military Health in Mozambique, Águeda Duarte has said the prevalence of HIV / AIDS in the country’s defense forces is at least 11.5 percent, a situation aggravated by the low adherence to antiretroviral treatment.”The Defense Military of Mozambique (FADM) continues to have a high
HIV prevalence in relation to the civilian population due to a low adherence to antiretroviral treatment,” Duarte told a two-day meeting of the National Directorate of Military Health in the capital, Maputo on Thursday.

The meeting is attended by regional military health officials, directors of military health units throughout the country and partners of the Ministry of Health.

Its purpose is to assess compliance with the goals set, to identify problems and find solutions to care and treatment, and to design strategies to improve military involvement in health services

According to Duarte, the provinces in the center of the country are the ones with the highest prevalence rate among the military, specifically Zambézia.

To address the troubling situation, the National Director said that the military health service introduced a rapid testing and treatment program earlier this month, which means that all soldiers who test positive for HIV are treated immediately.

“One of the major challenges continues to be the increase in the number of HIV – positive individuals starting timely with antiretroviral treatment and remaining in care and with good adherence,” Duarte said.

The official said that another challenge is the expansion of antiretroviral treatment in all provinces, so that all military population can be guaranteed access.

“What we want is to reduce, as much as possible, the increase in the number of people infected in the country” he added.

The US Embassy in Maputo has been supporting HIV / AIDS programs for at least 13 years, with nearly $9 million disbursed this year.

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