HIV in Mozambique
HIV infection remains one of the biggest public health problems in Mozambique. The national HIV prevalence is 13.2%, with substantial regional variation, ranging from 24.4% in Gaza to 5.2% in Tete. The prevalence is higher in the 35-39 age group, with 21.2% (IMASIDA 2015). In 2018, an estimated 128,000 new infections occurred, with most infections occurring in women (57%), (Spectrum v5.576).
Of the 2,184,626 people living with HIV (PLHIV) estimated in 2018, 55% are currently on antiretroviral treatment (ART). Despite advances in access to ART, the country still faces major challenges in retaining care and ART and achieving viral suppression.
Children under the age of one have a higher risk of infection associated with vertical transmission during pregnancy, childbirth and breastfeeding, with an estimated vertical transmission rate of 18% in 2018.
Key drivers of Mozambique’s HIV epidemic are:
- low coverage of ART
- risky sexual behaviors
- low rates of male circumcision
- low and inconsistent condom use
- mobility and migration
- sex work
Qualitative studies have highlighted the social and cultural factors that shape attitudes and behaviors towards risk, sexual relations, prevention, care seeking and use of services.