Graduating with a double Masters degree in Medicine (HIV/STIs) and Philosophy at the University of Sydney in 2012, Australia Awards Alumnus Jose Almeida works with a 100% focus on fighting the HIV/AIDS epidemic in his country, Mozambique.
Ranked among the ten countries in the world most affected by HIV, it is estimated that nearly 1.5 million Mozambicans are affected with HIV according to the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), with 120,000 new infections occurring each year.
Growing up in Mozambique, and losing relatives and close friends to the disease, as a young undergraduate he made the decision to join Mozambique’s HIV Heroes to fight the epidemic and work towards the country’s long-term goal of an AIDS-free generation.
Based in Maputo, Jose said he uses the knowledge gained on-Award in his role as a Laboratory Manager for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The CDC supports Mozambique’s Ministry of Health (MOH) to mitigate the epidemic through the US President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR).
“As HIV Heroes, my CDC team works to support the government in the implementation of its HIV Acceleration Plan. My role is to provide technical assistance to PEPFAR-supported organisations to improve the quality of HIV-related testing and ensure uninterrupted testing,” he said. “I devote 100% of my time coordinating efforts and activities to improve the access of HIV/AIDS diagnosis and treatment in Mozambique through our implementing partners.”
With approximately 24.7 million people in sub-Saharan Africa living with HIV, the Australian Government’s commitment to fighting the spread of HIV/AIDS on the continent, and reducing the stigma associated with it, is underlined by its investment in Australia Awards Scholarships and Fellowships.
Australia Awards is training more African health professionals to assist in the prevention and management of HIV/AIDS in their countries through the provision of Masters Scholarships with a focus on public health.
For more information on how Australia Awards assists in the fight against HIV in Africa, click here