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Report: Nearly 12 Percent of Mozambique Population is HIV/AIDS Positive

A Mozambique government report says nearly 12 percent of the population between the ages of 11 and 49 is infected with the HIV virus or has AIDS.

The survey, Mozambique's first comprehensive report on AIDS, found that women represent the largest number infected by HIV. It says about 13 percent of women in the country are affected compared to about 9 percent of men.

It says the chances of women and the young contracting AIDS is five times greater than an adult male.

The report says Gaza province in southern Mozambique is the worst-hit area of the country.

The French news agency quotes Health Minister Paulo Ivo Garrido as saying the government considers AIDS the number-one threat to the country. He vowed to continue trying to reduce its spread.

The report on AIDS prevalence in Mozambique was assembled from information obtained from blood samples taken from more nearly 17,000 people and interviews in ten provinces last year.

Sub-Saharan Africa is at the center of the global AIDS crisis. More than two-thirds of all people infected with HIV live in the region.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP.