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AIDS-related deaths decline by a third in Mozambique

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Mozambique’s fight against HIV and AIDS seems to be paying off amid revelations on Tuesday, 9 June 2020 that the number of annual AIDS-related deaths in the country has declined by a third over the past fourteen years.

National AIDS Council executive secretary Francisco Mbofana said the number of AIDS-related deaths has dropped from an average of seventy-six thousand in 2006 to the current fifty-one thousand on the back of an effective antiretroviral therapy (ART) programme run by the Mozambican government.

“With the introduction of antiretrovirals, the trend is (set) to decrease,” Mbofana told Noticias newspaper.

He added: “In more than twenty years of fighting the epidemic, Mozambique has managed to put about one-point-three million people on antiretroviral treatment, out of an estimated two-point-tw0 million living with HIV in the country.”

The official, however, bemoaned the high rate of treatment default, noting that at least thirty percent of patients in Mozambique tend to give up ART at some point during the treatment.

Stigma and long distances between health facilities and communities are some of the reasons behind the high default rate, he said.

There are more than two million people living with HIV and AIDS in Mozambique out of a population of more than thirty-one million.

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