New survey reveals slight drop in HIV prevalence to 12.4% HIV in Mozambique

New survey reveals slight drop in HIV prevalence to 12.4% HIV in Mozambique
New survey reveals slight drop in HIV prevalence to 12.4% HIV in Mozambique

Africa-Press – Mozambique. HIV prevalence in Mozambique dropped slightly to 12.4%, but remains among the highest rates in the world, according to the results of a new survey presented this Thursday by Mozambique’s National Institute of Health (INS).

About two million adults – one in eight of the population of about 31 million – are living with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).

The last (2015) survey in Mozambique showed HIV prevalence at 13.2%.

The country remains among the worst affected in the world, compared with HIV prevalence data from other nations made available by the United Nations program for HIV/AIDS and announced this Thursday.

As in the rest of sub-Saharan Africa, in Mozambique the prevalence is, at 15%, higher among women, while in men it stands at 9%.

Differences are “particularly noticeable in the 15 and 29-year age group, where prevalence is two to three times higher among women”, notes the INS.

Also, “one in four women aged 35-39 is infected”, it points out.

The survey also indicates that condom use “is still low”, especially among women, with only 30.3% of women saying that they use condoms, 11.6% less than in 2015.

The percentage of men who said they use condoms increased from 8.8% to 48.2%.

“One in eight adults in Mozambique lives with HIV, which represents a substantial challenge for the country’s health system,” the survey summary says.

“These results demonstrate the need for preventive measures to reduce the number of new infections,” the document adds.

Minister of Health Armindo Tiago this Thursday also highlighted some achievements.

“Although the national average of HIV prevalence between 2015 and 2021 remains high, we would like to highlight the remarkable reduction in the provinces of Manica and Maputo,” with reductions of 40% to 50%, the minister declared.

The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) has set targets 95-95-95 so that, by 2025, 95% of people with HIV know their viral status, 95% of all people diagnosed are receiving antiretroviral therapy continuously and 95% of these achieve suppressed viral loads.

Mozambique currently shows 72-96-89 levels respectively, that is, three out of 10 still do not know their infection status and despite treatment coverage being above 95% viral load suppression has not yet exceeded 89%.

The Insida 2021 report cited was based on interviews and blood samples from approximately 14,500 people across the country between April, 2021, and February, 2022. The results have a 95% confidence interval.

The study was funded by the US President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and had technical assistance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Columbia University, both from the USA.

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