The ministry of health has announced the first national research project on HIV/AIDS in Mozambique, called INSIDA. The study will be carried out in 2009, involving 17,000 individuals of all ages from 270 towns across the country. It will identify behaviour that puts people at risk of HIV infection, evaluate the level of knowledge and the impact of information campaigns and determine the prevalence of the virus among the population. Pilot research is currently underway in Maputo and theoretical materials have also been gathered and informal interviews carried out in Matola and Marracuene in Maputo province.
In a separate move, 25 prisoners and several officers at the central prison of Machava in Matola are receiving training in HIV/AIDS prevention in prison. The two-week course will enable participants to teach others how to limit the spread of the virus. 194 inmates at the central prison are HIV-positive, of whom 21 are already receiving anti-retroviral treatment, according to the director.
There are approximately 1.5 million people living with HIV in Mozambique out of a total population of just over 21 million according to the United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS). Of the victims, over half (810.000) are women.