20080401 Disability and HIV AIDS in Mozambique

20080401 Disability and HIV AIDS in Mozambique
A research report by Disability and Development Partners

The authors were motivated to undertake research into disability and HIV & AIDS to contribute to a body of knowledge that, despite very recently being a strong focus of attention, was the subject of longstanding neglect. 
Their previous work with local partners in Mozambique made them aware that disabled people in general suffer social exclusion and they were therefore interested to find out whether this applies equally in HIV & AIDS policies and programmes.
The research began with a literature review. They selected two of Mozambique’s eleven provinces where HIV prevalence is known to be high among the general population to conduct a survey with dual objectives: firstly, to establish the extent to which disabled people are vulnerable to HIV and their awareness of the pandemic and, secondly, to determine whether disabled people and their needs are included in current HIV & AIDS statutory policies and service programmes. 
They found that the prevalence of HIV among disabled people is likely to be at least as high as among the general population. Their survey revealed very low levels of knowledge among disabled people of HIV & AIDS issues, that their needs are broadly not catered for in service provision and that policy makes no reference to disability. 
They conclude that this situation reflects the trend of disabled people’s marginalisation and that the link between poverty and disability is a key factor. The report’s principal recommendation is the urgent need to combine a mainstreaming approach to service programme design and implementation to promote the inclusion of disabled people with advocacy to achieve recognition of disability as demanding attention and
provision at the level of policy making.