Tue. Apr 23rd, 2024

UNAIDS, in a press release, has congratulated the Kingdom of Swaziland on the findings of the Swaziland HIV Incidence Measurement Survey (SHIMS 2), as announced by Prime Minister Barnabas Sibusiso Dlamini on Monday, 24th of July, in Mbabane, Swaziland. It is reported that 73% of the adult population aged 15 years and older are virally suppressed—76% of adult women and 68% of adult men.

The survey, part of the Public Health Impact Assessments (PHIA), was conducted with funding from United States President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). According to USAIDS Executive Director, Michel Sidibé, “Swaziland has demonstrated to the world that shared responsibility and global solidarity produces results.” Adding that, with Swaziland’s collaboration with PEPFAR and other partners, Swaziland, by this, is saving lives and on track to control the epidemic.

According to the report, SHIMS 2 findings, on viral load suppression among adults of 15 years and older of 73 percent, affirms UNAIDS estimates of 68% (54%–77%).  Compared to the 2011 SHIMS1 survey which had a similar design, the survey results suggest that the rate of new HIV infections among adults (ages 18-49 years) has decreased by half from 2.5% in 2011 to 1.4% in 2016 (2.0% for adult women and 0.9% for adult men). Also, this is similar to the decline in incidence among adult ages 15-49 as published by UNAIDS: from 2.5% (2.3%–2.6%) in 2011 to 1.7% (1.4%–2.0%) in 2016.

In a research work in 2016, UNAIDS estimated that 220 000 (200 000—230 000) people were living with HIV in Swaziland, and that new HIV infections were reduced from 12 000 (12 000—13 000) in 2011 to 8800 (7300—11 000) in 2016. Prevention of mother to child coverage in Swaziland has been between 90 and 100% since 2011 and was estimated to be 95% (81%–>95%) in 2016. As a result fewer than 1000 children became infected with HIV in Swaziland in 2016.

In the remarks of the Executive Manager, he welcomes Swaziland, giving his kudos to their turn around. Mr Michel Sidibe, on behalf of UNAIDS welcomes the Swaziland PHIA results as further affirmation of the validity and accuracy of our modeling estimates.

UNAIDS in the same vein congratulated PEPFAR for their unwavering commitment to the global AIDS response. Especially, as they work with more than 50 countries to maintain access to life-saving treatment, provide services for orphans and vulnerable children while ensuring that the most vulnerable and key populations have access to services to prevent and treat HIV and accelerate progress toward the end of the AIDS epidemic.









Correspondent: Ridwan A Olayiwola



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