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US makes $10 million available for HIV/AIDS

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Luanda - The United States government made available $10 million this year in the fight against AIDS in Angola.

Investment in facilities supported by the Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) in Angola, states a press release sent to ANGOP, has the capacity to cover approximately 85,000 Angolans affected by the virus.

Angola has an estimated HIV prevalence of 2.0% in people aged between 15 and 49, according to the Multiple Health Indicators Survey (2015-16), which gives an estimated 310,000 people living with HIV in the country.

The southern Cunene Province has the highest HIV/AIDS incidence and prevalence rate in the country, with a 6.1 percent rate of new transmissions.

According to data from the Ministry of Health (MINSA), after Cunene, come the provinces of Cuando Cubango (south-east) with 5% and Moxico (east) with 4%, while Zaire (north-west) has the lowest rate, that is 0.5%.

PEPFAR, led by the US government, helps ensure that every individual in every community has access to life-saving HIV prevention and treatment services.

“US government agencies supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Department of Defense (DoD) work with the Ministry of Health to identify and provide antiretroviral treatment (ART) for people with HIV, use data to inform policies and strategies, and measure impact on communities”, reads the note.

The US government recognizes the efforts of all its partners towards ensuring that fewer and fewer Angolans get infected with the HIV virus and that those living with the disease can access life-saving treatments and live a healthy and fulfilling life for many years.

The note adds that in coordination with MINSA, First Lady Ana Dias Lourenço, and the National Institute for the Fight against AIDS, the US government is focused on decreasing mother-to-child HIV transmission during pregnancy, childbirth and breastfeeding by 2022.

“Angola has a relatively low number of people living with HIV across the country and, therefore, it has the opportunity to prevent HIV from becoming an epidemic. Collaborative efforts are needed to ensure that this vision comes true”, stresses the note.