Key medical figures: 

  • 39,300 patients on first-line antiretroviral treatment

There has been progress in Mozambique’s response to HIV over recent years, but still only 45 per cent of patients who need antiretroviral (ARV) treatment have access to it. 

All three Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) programmes in Mozambique provide HIV care. The teams are beginning to focus on the integration and simplification of care for specific groups of patients like children and adolescents, and gradually handing over responsibility for first-line ARV treatment in the Chamanculo and Mavalane districts of the capital Maputo to the Ministry of Health.

At the Primeiro de Maio health centre in Mavalane, children and adolescents can access tailor-made services, and staff offer integrated treatment to pregnant women with HIV and people co-infected with HIV and tuberculosis (TB) so that they can obtain all the medical attention they need at one point. Patients with complex conditions are referred to specialist services.

In Chamanculo, MSF is working with the Ministry of Health at one of these specialist facilities, the Centro de Referencia de Alto Mae (CRAM). Here, patients suffering from the cancer Kaposi’s sarcoma (an opportunistic infection of advanced stage HIV) and those in need of second- or third-line treatment receive care.

In Tete, MSF is helping local health staff to promote community and patient involvement in HIV treatment. Patients get together to offer mutual support and take turns to pick up drug refills from the health centre, and staff engage the community in improving the detection, diagnosis and treatment of TB.

Ivanilda, 15 years old

My mother and brothers are HIV negative, but I have been living with HIV for five years. I was sick a few years ago, and had many blood transfusions in the hospital. My mother believes that these transfusions are the cause of my infection.

Because my health was not showing any improvement, my mother decided to accompany me to take an HIV test. I started ARV treatment in 2007. Now I go to the health facility on my own. The ARV drugs are my daily bread. If I do not take them, I feel bad.

I have always had the support of my mother and uncle. Both know about my HIV status, but they have never discriminated against me. I also find refuge and support at teenagers’ monthly meetings. In these meetings I see that HIV is not only my problem, but also the problem of many children of my age.

No. staff end 2012: 410

Year MSF first worked in the country: 1984

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