Mozambique-Health-AIDS

Mozambique: AIDS-related deaths decline by a third

APA-Maputo (Mozambique)

Mozambique’s fight against HIV and AIDS seems to be paying off amid revelations on Tuesday that the number of annual AIDS-related deaths in the country has declined by a third over the past 14 years.

National AIDS Council executive secretary Francisco Mbofana said the number of AIDS-related deaths has dropped from an average of 76,000 in 2006 to the current 51,000 on the back of an effective anti-retroviral therapy (ART) programme run by the Mozambican government.

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

He added: “In more than 20 years of fighting the epidemic, Mozambique has managed to put about 1.3 million people on antiretroviral treatment, out of an estimated 2.2 million living with HIV in the country.”

The official however bemoaned the high rate of treatment default, noting that at least 30 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 31 million.

JN/APA

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