Mozambique survey shows high prevalence of HIV/Aids

Almost 12% of the Mozambican population is living with HIV/Aids, a government survey released on Monday said.

“Anything above 5% means the country is in a tragic
situation. A prevalence rate of 11,5% is already twice as much,” Health Minister Paulo Ivo Garrido said in Maputo.

The $6-million study conducted by the health ministry and the national statistics department was the country’s first comprehensive report on the prevalence of the syndrome.

It sampled 16 600 people from the Southern African nation’s 10 provinces in 2009.

“The situation in Mozambique is extremely serious,” Garrido.

Over two-thirds of people living with HIV worldwide are in sub-Saharan Africa. The study found that women were the hardest hit by the syndrome, with 13,1% affected, compared with 9,2% of men aged
15 to 49 years.

Prevalence was higher in the southern provinces of Maputo and Gaza, the main travel routes to neighbouring South Africa.

“The Mozambican government considers Aids the first threat to the country. We will continue to battle it to reduce prevalence,” said Garrido.

South Africa has the world’s highest number of HIV infections, with an estimated 5,7-million of the population of 48-million living with the syndrome, according to the United Nations HIV/Aids agency. - AFP

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