Troop movements, an increased rate of prostitution and the displacement of 2.5 million citizens is fostering the spread of HIV/AIDS in Angola.
The head of the national anti-AIDS program, Dr. Dulcino Serrano,
said unemployment and poverty among those displaced by the fighting
has led to an increase in prostitution.
Constant military movements as the army chases the UNITA rebels
and the chaotic social infrastructure has made it difficult to stem
the increase in the number of HIV cases, Serrano told an AIDS
Currently some 470,000 people have been diagnosed with HIV, the
virus that causes AIDS. At the current rate of infection, 1 million
Angolans in the 15-49 age group will be infected by 2009, according
to Serrano. Angola has a population of about 12 million.
She said that in 52 percent of cases the virus was transmitted
through heterosexual intercourse. Homosexual relations accounted
for only about 1 percent of cases. The other cases stemmed from
blood transfusions or babies born already infected. Intravenous
drug use is virtually unknown in Angola.
Serrano's agency has draw up an emergency plan to try and halt
the spread of AIDS but requires dlrs 12 million to implement it,
Civil war broke out in Angola after the country gained
independence from Portugal in 1975.