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US Will Give Mozambique $1 Billion to Fight HIV

The United States says it will provide $1 billion over the next five years to help fight AIDS in Mozambique, where some 1.5 million people are living with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.

U.S. and Mozambican officials signed a partnership agreement in Mozambique's capital, Maputo, on Monday. The U.S. embassy says the agreement is aimed at reducing new infections, strengthening Mozambique's health system, and improving access to treatment for people infected with HIV, and those suffering from AIDS.

It says another goal is for the government, aid groups, and private sector to harmonize their efforts to combat HIV and AIDS.

The funding will mostly be supplied by the United States' anti-AIDS initiative, PEPFAR, started under former president George W. Bush. The initiative dramatically increased the funding dispersed internationally to fight HIV and AIDS.

Since PEPFAR began in 2003, U.S. funding of anti-AIDS programs in Mozambique has increased from $37.5 million in 2004 to around $250 million in 2009.

In 2007, the United Nations estimated that about 12.5 percent of adults in Mozambique were living with HIV, and some 400,000 children had been orphaned by AIDS.