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HIV/AIDS in Angola

Angola, emerging from a 27 year civil war, faces a crisis in which refugees who fled from the hostilities are now returning home with what could be a death sentence: HIV/AIDS. This situation is largely attributable to the fact that the countries bordering Angola where many sought refuge during wartime have been ravaged by AIDS.

Nearly 70% of the population in Angola is under the age of 24.

Among people aged 14 to 24 showed 43% of young people had had sex by the age of 15, one of the highest rates in the world

Barriers to HIV prevention limited availability and use of condoms, and limited access to health care.

A high incidence of sexually transmitted infections, all conditions that leave the country ripe for a spike in HIV.

HIV is transmitted primarily through multi-partner heterosexual sex, with a male-to-female ratio of 0.8:1, indicating that women are more likely to be infected than men. Contaminated needles, medical devices, and blood transfusions are the second largest spreader of HIV/AIDS, although more specific research in this area is needed. Mother-to-child transmission currently accounts for approximately 15% of HIV cases.

Fear of HIV/AIDS is strong, and people with HIV/AIDS face stigma on a daily basis. In fact, the 2003 KAP study reports that, "If a local shopkeeper were known to be HIV-positive, nearly half of all young people (and more than two-thirds of those with no education) said they would refuse to buy food from him. Similarly, more than one-third (and nearly two-thirds of those with no education) would refuse to share a meal with an HIV-positive person." Finally, Angola has approximately 1 million orphans, about 11% whom have lost one or both parents to AIDS.


Estimated number of adults and children living with HIV/AIDS in 2003 

These estimates include all people with HIV infection, whether or not they have developed symptoms of AIDS, alive at the end of 2003:

Adults and children



Adults (15-49)


Adult rate(%) 3.9

Women (15-49)



Children (0-15)



Estimated number of deaths due to AIDS

Estimated number of adults and children who died of AIDS during 2003:

Deaths in 2003



Estimated number of orphans

Estimated number of children who have lost their mother or father or both parents to AIDS and who were alive and under age 17 at the end of 2003:

Current living orphans




Tuberculosis is a major public health problem in Angola.

Malnutrition replaced violence as the main killer of displaced children and adults at the end of Angola's bloody civil war,Malnutrition replaced violence as the main killer of displaced children and adults at the end of Angola's bloody civil war,

violence or war was the leading cause of death accounting for 34% of the reported deaths,malnutrition took the place of war, accounting for 34% of  deaths.

there were 1.5 deaths per 10 000 people per day, three times as high as in neighbouring Zambia. In children under the age of 5, the death rate was four times higher than normal for the age group: 4.5 deaths per 10 000 each day.

In young children especially, malnutrition often proves lethal when combined with a number of other diseases such as diarrhoea, malaria and measles

It is relatively rare for people to die of simple hunger but in Angola, in addition to deaths from infectious diseases, householders consistently reported deaths from hunger in adults and children.

We are working with the -- to improve cure rates, especially in the poorest rural areas, by ensuring local doctors are adequately trained and motivated to fight the spread of this terrible disease.

We fund the national coordination of the current TB training and treatment programme in Romania, by working directly with The National Institute of Tuberculosis (The Angolan government's health budget has been too low to meaningfully address the problems of training and data collection).

Using our office equipment, internet data collection system, travel grants and operating funds, the leading Angolan experts are re-training the health care workers and producing dramatic changes in TB services.

The good news is that cure rates have risen significantly. However, much work remains to be done to ensure this terrible, debilitating disease is beaten.




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