Brief about AHF in Mozambique:
AHF officially launched its program in Mozambique in 2018 with the commissioning of the Malhampsene Health centre in Matola (Maputo Province). The facility which was renovated and equipped by AHF targets women and children, especially pregnant women and women in postpartum period with maternal, new born and child health care services, Prevention-of-Mother-To-Child-Transmission (PMTCT) and HIV Testing Services. H.E. Governor Raimundo Maico Diomba (Governor of Maputo Province) officiated the commissioning.
Currently, AHF Mozambique country office works in close partnership with the Ministry of Health to support the provision of integrated quality HIV care and treatment services at 9 health facilities in Maputo Province and City. AHF Work in Mozambique has resulted in successful upgrade of laboratory and health facilities and in bridging gaps in materials and equipment, in hiring more and building capacity of healthcare workforce allowing an increase in the access to HIV related services, strengthening of existing PMTCT and HIV care and treatment services. Monitoring and evaluation is also an important part of our work in the country, our team conducts assessments to improve patient services in the different points of services delivery.
In addition to HIV/AIDS care and treatment, AHF work in Mozambique includes HIV prevention services in five districts across the targeted provinces, which includes the use of mobile testing units to provide free rapid testing (test and treat approach), condom promotion & distribution, advocacy and behaviour change communication for HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment retention campaigns. We also collaborate with International, local non-governmental and community-based organizations to sensitize and mobilize local communities around HIV/AIDS prevention and retention issues.
Brief about HIV epidemic and the drivers in Mozambique:
Mozambique is one of the countries in sub-Saharan Africa that is most affected by the HIV and AIDS epidemic. In 2018, an estimated 2.2 million Mozambicans are living with HIV, out of a total country population size of 28, 861, 863 (2017 preliminary results of General Population Census). An estimated 150,000 new HIV infections, and 54,000 AIDS-related deaths occurred in 2018 (UNAIDS country factsheet). HIV prevalence amongst adults (15-49) shows women at 15.4% compared to men at 10.1%. Women are disproportionately affected, mostly in the age group of 15 to 24 years; and are three times more likely to be infected with HIV compared to men in the same age group (men 3.2%, women 9,8%) (IMASIDA 2015). Out of the 2.2 million Mozambicans living with HIV, 1,200 000 are on treatment (UNAIDS country factsheet).
Critical drivers of Mozambique’s HIV epidemic are low coverage of ART, risky sexual behaviours, low rates of male circumcision, low and inconsistent condom use, mobility and migration, and sex work among others. Qualitative studies highlight the social and cultural factors that shape attitudes and behaviours towards risk, sexual relations, prevention, care seeking and use of services. A Modes of Transmission model conducted in 2013 shows 28.7% of new infections were among sex workers, their clients and men who have sex with men (MSM), and 25.6% of new infections occur among people in stable sexual relationships, due in large part to high rates of serodiscordancy and low rates of condom use among couples. People in multiple partnerships (PMP) contributed to 22.6%, and partners of PMP contribute to 21.6% of new adult infections. These three modes of transmission contribute mainly to the incidence of HIV infections in the southern region of the country where AHF Mozambique implement programs. Mobile and migrant workers such as miners, agricultural workers, prison populations, the military, and truck drivers also constitute priority populations.