Some 2.3 million people in Mozambique are estimated to have been infected with HIV, placing the country among the eight most affected by the disease in the world, the country’s Health Minister Armindo Tiago said on Friday.
The minister was speaking in Maputo at the launch of a campaign that aims to improve universal access to HIV services and reduce stigma towards people living with the disease in the country.
In 2016 the country started with an approach answering the goals “90-90-90” , which is that by 2020, 90 percent of people living with HIV should know their serostatus, 90 percent of people living with HIV diagnosed are treated and remain on antiretroviral treatment and 90 percent of patients on antiretroviral treatment achieve viral suppression.
“However, data from Spectrum, an estimation model related to HIV/AIDS, indicates that by March 2020, of the 2.3 million people living with HIV in Mozambique, 74 percent know their serostatus,” said Tiago.
Tiago added that among the people who know their state, 52 percent benefit from free antiretroviral treatment in health facilities, but only 40 percent of them achieve viral suppression.
Patients’ retention in HIV care and adherence to treatment has been one of the major challenges that compromises the country’s efforts and national response to the HIV epidemic, he said.