Mozambique to step up its response to HIV

08 December 2015

HIV prevalence among adults is particularly high in Mozambique. In 2014, an estimated 1.5 million people were living with HIV in the country and HIV prevalence was estimated at 10.6%, the eighth highest in the world. However, the country is firmly committed to adopting the UNAIDS Fast-Track Strategy to break and end its AIDS epidemic by 2030.

With international support, Mozambique has managed to sharply increase its coverage of antiretroviral therapy and HIV testing and counselling since 2012. Expanded treatment coverage for pregnant women living with HIV has resulted in a 73% decline from 2011 to 2014 in new HIV infections among children. New HIV infections among adults have also been reduced, by 40% from 2004 to 2014.

During a joint mission to Mozambique on 7 and 8 December, the Executive Director of UNAIDS, the Executive Director of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (Global Fund) and the Coordinator of the United States President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) congratulated the country for accelerating its HIV response.

In their first country mission together, Michel Sidibé of UNAIDS, Mark Dybul of the Global Fund and Deborah Birx of PEPFAR held constructive meetings with high-level governmental officials, United Nations representatives, the United States Ambassador and members of civil society. Their mission was aimed at enhancing the support provided to the country for implementing its national priorities and at strengthening the joint partnership.

They all spoke of their continued and common commitment to Mozambique and to ending the AIDS epidemic by 2030. They also highlighted the importance of ensuring that people who test positive for HIV have immediate access to HIV services, including treatment.

In a meeting with President Filipe Jacinto Nyusi, Mr Sidibé praised the government for championing a people-centred approach to health and development for everyone. He also commended the government for adopting a law in 2014 that seeks to protect the rights and dignity of people living with HIV.

Mr Sidibé welcomed the recent creation of a budget line for HIV treatment in the domestic health budget. In a meeting with the Minister of Health, Nazira Karimo Vali Abdula, he stressed that a greater domestic financial commitment is still required for a sustainable response to its epidemic. The country is currently dependent on international donor support.

Mr Sidibé attended the launch of the Fast-Track cities initiative in Maputo, which aims to achieve the UNAIDS 90–90–90 treatment target in the capital. At the signing ceremony, the Mayor and Governor of Maputo City pledged to Fast-Track the AIDS response for marginalized groups and ensure that no one is left behind.

Mr Sidibé also met with Joaquim Alberto Chissano, former President of Mozambique and a Champion for an AIDS-Free Generation in Africa, and Graça Machel, Founder of the Graça Machel Trust and Chair of the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn & Child Health. 


“By taking a location and population approach to ensure that people at higher risk are reached with HIV services, Mozambique can end its AIDS epidemic by 2030. This will require the pace to quicken in investments, commitment and action, particularly over the next five years. Our collective support for a healthier and stronger Mozambique is unwavering.”

Michel Sidibé, Executive Director of UNAIDS

“Being here together with Michel and Mark really follows the vision that was laid out in the International Conference on AIDS and STIs in Africa: to link leadership, science and human rights.”

Deborah Birx, United States Global AIDS Ambassador

“Mozambique has made great progress in the fight against the three diseases and we are honoured to be here with the United States President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief and UNAIDS to strengthen our partnership and jointly support the country to achieve even more in the next five years.”

Mark Dybul, Executive Director of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria

“My government is committed to ending the AIDS epidemic. Personally, I will start speaking about HIV and AIDS as much as possible in the future.”

Filipe Jacinto Nyusi, President of Mozambique