Mozambique: HIV Infections Still Rising

The number of adults infected by HIV has risen by more than 350,000 in six years, according to the latest statistics released by the Ministry of Health on 1 December. Data is from the 2021 Survey on Assessing the Impacts of HIV/AIDS (INSIDA).

The Ministry proudly reported that HIV prevalence rate among adults aged between 15 and 49 fell from 13.2% in 2015 to 12.4% in 2021. But the ministry did not give actual numbers infected. Using census projections, the number of infected adults has jumped from 1.7 mn in 2015, when the previous survey was done, to 2.1 mn now.

Furthermore, while the national prevalence rate is 12.4%, among women it is much higher, at 15% of all women aged 15 and above. The prevalence rate among men is 9.5%.

Gaza, remains the province with the highest prevalence rate, with 20.9% of adults  infected with HIV. But this is a significant drop from 24.4%. Zambezia is now second, with a major increase in incidence – 17.1% and up from 15.1% in 2015. Nampula has also seen a big increase, from 5.7% to 10.0%, and Tete jumps from 5.2% to 8.4%

The big decreases have been Manica, down from 13.5% in 2015 to 7.9% in 2021, and Maputo province, down from 22.9% to 12.4%. Rates have also fallen in Sofala, 16.3% to 13.2%, Cabo Delgado 13.8% to 10.5%, and Inhambane from 14.1% to 12.6%

Two provinces remain roughly unchanged: Maputo city 16.9% in 2015 and 16.2% in 2021, and Niassa, 7.8% up to 8.0%. (Ministerio da Saúde reports, 2019 and 2022)

Four countries, all in southern Africa, have higher HIV rates: Eswatini 26.8%, Lesotho 21.1%, Botswana 19.9%, and South Africa 19.1%. (all figures % of adults)

Mozambique recorded 9.4 million cases of malaria in the first nine months of this year, an increase of 20% compared to the same period in 2021, Mozambique’s health minister Armindo Tiago announced on 23 November. “In the first nine months of 2022 alone, 9.4 million cases of malaria were registered, compared to 7.8 million in the same period of 2021,” he said. According to the minister, the rise in the number of cases was due to the “inevitable impact of climate change.” (Lusa 23 Nov) According to a World Health Organisation (WHO) report of December 2021, Mozambique is one of six sub-Saharan African countries which account for over half of all cases of malaria in the world.

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