The personnel of the Mozambique Armed Defense Forces (FADM) view HIV/AIDS and its consequences as a true enemy to military readiness, and to Mozambican society as a whole. Military members know anecdotally that HIV/AIDS affects FADM personnel, but until recently, there were no data to quantify the rates of HIV infection or the unique risk factors of this population.
The FADM sought support through PEPFAR to conduct a survey examining FADM demographics and risk factors, HIV prevalence, and behavioral risk. The survey also tracked referrals from counseling and testing services to treatment and care for individuals who test HIV-positive.
The study was developed at the request of the FADM as a collaborative project with the U.S. Government. Twelve individuals with backgrounds in health were selected by the FADM as HIV counselors and testers. They underwent a one-week classroom training, followed by a one-week practical internship at a counseling and testing site.
Volunteers were encouraged by the FADM leadership to participate in the survey. At survey sites, the senior officer briefed personnel on the study, stressed its importance, and often participated in the survey him-or herself.
The results of the study provide invaluable information on the impact of the HIV/AIDS epidemic on the FADM. The study will also serve as a model for future surveillance surveys of military members.
| U.S. Government interagency website managed by the Office of U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator|
and the Bureau of Public Affairs, U.S. State Department.
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