Makini A. S. Boothe, Isabel Sathane, Cynthia Semá Baltazar, Noela Chicuecue, Roberta Horth, Erika Fazito & Henry F. Raymond
BMC Public Health (2021)
Mozambique has a generalized HIV epidemic of 13.5% among the general population. Early modeling exercises in Mozambique estimate that key populations (KP), defined as men who have sex with men (MSM), female sex workers (FSW), and people who inject drugs (PWID), along with their partners account for about one third of all new infections. There is limited data describing the engagement of KP living with HIV in testing, care and treatment services.
We conducted a secondary data analysis of HIV-positive participants in the first Bio-behavioral Surveillance (BBS) surveys in Mozambique conducted 2011-2014 in order to assess service uptake and progress though the HIV treatment cascade among MSM, FSW, and PWID. Unweighted pooled estimates were calculated for each key population group.
Among HIV-positive MSM, 63.2% of participants had ever received an HIV test, 8.8% were aware of their status, 6.1% reported having been linked to care, while 3.5% initiated ART and were currently on treatment. Of the HIV-infected FSW participants, 76.5% reported a previous HIV test and 22.4% were previously aware of their status. Linkage to care was reported by 20.1%, while 12.7% reported having initiated ART and 11.8% reported being on treatment at the time of the survey. Among HIV-infected PWID participants, 79.9% had previously received an HIV test, 63.2% were aware of their HIV status, and 49.0% reported being linked to care for their HIV infection. ART initiation was reported by 42.7% of participants, while 29.4% were on ART at the time of the survey.
Among the three high risk populations in Mozambique, losses occurred throughout critical areas of service uptake with the most alarming breakpoint occurring at knowledge of HIV status. Special attention should be given to increasing HIV testing and linkage to ART treatment. Future surveys will provide the opportunity to monitor improvements across the cascade in line with global targets and should include viral load testing to guarantee a more complete picture of the treatment cascade.