Mozambican civil society organizations this week will launch an HIV/AIDS campaign that aims to ensure improved access to HIV testing, medical assistance and treatment among disabled people in the country, AIM/AllAfrica.com reports. According to World Health Organization data, there are about two million people in Mozambique who are disabled to some degree. At least 324,000 of those people also are HIV-positive, according to 2007 statistics.
Organizations working with disabled people say the population is at a greater risk of HIV transmission but is largely excluded from HIV/AIDS services. The Forum of Mozambican Disabled Associations said disabled people in the country have been stigmatized, which gives them less opportunity to get married. FAMOD added that disabled people tend to have more than one sexual partner and have unstable sexual relationships. In addition, disabled women and children are at an increased risk of rape, and disabled people in general have less access to quality health care services and HIV/AIDS information, according to FAMOD.
The campaign, called the African Campaign on the Disabled and HIV/AIDS, will be coordinated by the Secretariat of the African Decade of Persons with Disabilities and Handicap International. FAMOD, Handicap International and other partners also have scheduled a workshop for this week in conjunction with the launch. The workshop will discuss the campaign's guidelines and attempt to increase awareness of the issue among political leaders and the public (AIM/AllAfrica.com, 3/3).
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Reprinted with permission from kaisernetwork.org. You can view the entire Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, search the archives, or sign up for email delivery at www.kaisernetwork.org/dailyreports/hiv. The Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report is published for kaisernetwork.org, a free service of the Kaiser Family Foundation, by The Advisory Board Company. © 2008 by The Advisory Board Company and Kaiser Family Foundation. All rights reserved.