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International News

AIDS Sharply Cuts Life Expectancy in Mozambique

September 8, 2004

Life expectancy in Mozambique has dropped sharply due to HIV/AIDS, threatening the government's ongoing reconstruction following the 1992 end of its 16-year civil war, Health Ministry officials said Friday. This year, life expectancy at birth is estimated at 38.1 years, compared to 46.4 years without the presence of HIV/AIDS, a Health Ministry report said. By 2010, life expectancy could drop to just 35.9 years.

"We need to act to reduce the speed of the growth of HIV/AIDS, which is a huge development challenge," said Health Minister Francisco Songane. "These are figures… that remind us of how serious we should face this fight."

The report called for "immediate and effective" action to control the AIDS epidemic in Mozambique, where 1.4 million of the country's 18 million people are HIV-positive. HIV prevalence in the key 15- to 49-year-old group jumped to 14.9 percent from 13.6 percent in 2002, the report said. It projected that figure will reach 16.8 percent in five years and would likely stabilize around those levels.

Health Ministry officials noted that HIV prevalence was much higher in urban centers than in remote areas of Mozambique. In the port city of Beira, HIV prevalence is around 35 percent, compared with 8.0 percent in northern districts on the Tanzanian border.

Songane said that about 8,000 of the 218,000 patients in need of AIDS medicines could benefit from the government's program to distribute free antiretroviral drugs. The number receiving drug therapy will rise to 58,000 patients in 2006 and 132,000 by 2008, he said.

Back to other news for September 8, 2004

Adapted from:
09.03.04; Mateus Chale

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This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.
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