“I am very happy because my daughter was born HIV free,” says Leocádia Adelino, a resident of Maquivale Sede Administrative Post, in Quelimane District, Zambézia Province, Mozambique. Leocádia has lived with HIV since 2016. She has four children, ages 15, 13, 5, and almost 2. All of her children, including the youngest, are free of HIV.
Belito Adolfo has been working for Friends in Global Health (FGH) since 2014. He was promoted to District Coordinator in January 2017, just as VUMC/FGH began supporting the Quelimane District. This new position was the biggest challenge of his professional career. In his new role he works with larger, urban health facilities handling higher patient volumes. With the increased responsibilities, he recognizes the importance of his work and being team member.
“I was always sick and tired. I could barely do anything,” Laurinda Emiliano tells us during an interview. Laurinda, 19, lives in the Bairro Cimento within the village of Zalala, Quelimane District, Zambézia Province. Starting in 2014, Laurinda mysteriously began to get sick frequently. “I started getting sick and I did not know what I had. Since the illness would not go away, I started visiting traditional healers.” The young woman sought out the cause for her illness for more than three years, but her health was only getting worse.
The Impact of Community-Based Information, Education and Communication Initiatives and Importance of Community Adherence Support Groups Abudo Nicuacua was diagnosed with HIV in 2006. Today, Abudo is an antiretroviral treatment (ART) adherence role model, but this was not always the case. Although he began ART shortly after his diagnosis, he was not convinced that the medications would improve his health. He quickly abandoned care and stopped taking his ART soon after enrollment.
Sangariveira Secondary School (SSS) was established in 2012 in Quelimane, Zambézia Province. Currently, the school has 4,980 students, 2,610 male and 2,370 female, who are divided into 42 groups, with morning, afternoon and night student rotations. Located in the outskirts of Quelimane, SSS has a gloomy past. It was infamous for high levels of drug use, early and unwanted pregnancies, prostitution, and illness.
Farias Fernando Romane recently moved from the Coalane neighborhood to Canecos, within Quelimane District. The move meant that he also changed the health facility where he receives HIV care. When our team met him, it was only his second visit to 24 de Julho Health Center. He was already pleased with the quality of care he has been receiving.
Ducha António was first diagnosed with HIV in 2008, during an antenatal consultation. She was just sixteen years old and did not fully understand what HIV was or the impact it could have on her life. She refused treatment for herself, and she was also reluctant to have her infant daughter tested. “I was a teenager with little knowledge of things, so I just ignored treatment.”