Mozambique’s HIV Prevalence Rate Increases to 16.2%, Health Minister Says
Mozambique's HIV prevalence has increased from about 14% in 2002 to 16.2% in 2004, Health Minister Paulo Ivo said on Wednesday, Reuters reports. The new figure primarily is based on surveys taken last year of pregnant women nationwide, although other groups also were included. The survey indicates that the virus is spreading most rapidly in the capital city of Maputo and in Gaza province, where many migrant workers from South Africa reside. "HIV/AIDS is a bit 'younger' here than in neighboring countries because it was isolated during the war," Michael Klaus, UNICEF spokesperson in Mozambique, said, referring to the country's 16-year civil war that ended in 1992 (Apps/Chale, Reuters, 8/10). Mozambique earlier this year declared the fight against HIV/AIDS a "national emergency" in a five-year control program being considered by the country's parliament. About 1.4 million HIV-positive people are estimated to be living in the country, 60% of whom are women (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 3/23). About 20% of Mozambique's 100,000 annual deaths from AIDS-related causes are among children, according to UNICEF (Reuters, 8/10).This is part of the Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.