Mozambican Health Minister, Nazira Abdula, has expressed concern over the little progress that has been made in preventing new cases of infection by HIV, despite the investment made in fighting the disease.
The official is quoted by state-controlled Radio Mozambique on Wednesday as saying that over 90 per cent of HIV infections are caused by unprotected sexual relations and the underlying factors could include gender inequalities, alcohol and drug abuse, stigma, and lack of communication about sexuality inside families.
‘Among the constraints hindering progress in the fight against HIV/AIDS were the continuing low level of awareness of forms of prevention, the late arrival of pregnant women at health centres for ante-natal consultations and poor multi-sector coordination of the response to HIV,” Abdulla reportedly said.
The official said that currently 1.126 million HIV-positive Mozambicans are receiving the anti-retroviral treatment that can prolong their lives but transmission of the virus from pregnant women to their unborn babies remains a major problem.
The representative of United Nations-AIDS in Mozambique, Eva Kiwango, argued that home and community testing for HIV could be a strategy to ensure the early start of anti-retroviral treatment, and thus play a key role in the fight against the epidemic.
The HIV prevalence rate in Mozambique is 16 per cent of people between 15 and 49 years, one of the highest in the world.
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