Controlling the HIV Epidemic in Mozambique
- Mozambique is struggling to bring its HIV epidemic under control.
- Strengthen public health services; ensure sustainability of the HIV response.
- In six weeks of implementation, preliminary HIV and TB indicators improved.
Mozambique has the eighth highest HIV prevalence in the world, with 12.6 percent of adults living with HIV, and one of the highest HIV mortality rates. The country has made strides in testing people for HIV and providing treatment. But a high proportion of HIV-positive individuals discontinues treatment due to systemic challenges: long distances to access health facilities, long wait times in facilities, stigma and ineffective delivery of information about the importance of staying on treatment.
Efficiencies for Clinical HIV/AIDS Outcomes (ECHO), a $209 million, five-year USAID project, will work in four provinces to support Government of Mozambique efforts to ensure 95 percent of HIV-positive individuals receive treatment and 95 percent of those on treatment are virally suppressed. ECHO will achieve this goal by providing technical assistance; deploying hundreds of health workers, community workers and data analysts to sites with poor performance; training government health workers; giving grants to community outreach organizations; and supporting government activities to strengthen crucial laboratory, transport and information systems.
ECHO’s first six weeks of implementation in 37 health facilities resulted in:
- Increased Isoniazid Preventative Therapy coverage for TB prevention from 76 percent to 95 percent
- Increased early retention in treatment from 55 percent of patients to 71 percent of patients
- Increase of new individuals testing positive for HIV through index testing from 6 per week to 81 per week
- Increase of viral load testing coverage from 94 percent to 99 percent of eligible patients
- Coverage of three-month distribution of antiretroviral therapy to 100 percent of eligible patients in Manica province, 100 percent in Niassa, and 94 percent in Tete.