One in Three Swazis Are HIV Positive
Although one of Africa's smallest countries, Swaziland has the highest prevalence of HIV in the world.
COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT THROUGH TRADITIONAL LEADERS
Within the four regions that make up Swaziland, there are smaller chiefdoms, led by traditional leaders or chiefs. Receiving buy-in for HIV communication activities from Swaziland's chiefs is key for community engagement, but having the chief and his spouse on board is even better. Both are revered community members with the credibility needed to convey life-saving messages.
REACHING ADOLESCENT GIRLS AND YOUNG WOMEN
Reducing the high rate of HIV among adolescent girls and young women (AGYW) is crucial to address Swaziland's HIV crisis. Studies show transactional sex between young women and older men who provide them materials goods - often called "Blessers" - contribute to the spread of HIV. AGYW infected by these older men can pass the virus to partners their own age.
Reaching Key Populations
Key populations - including sex workers and men who have sex with men - are the hardest hit by Swaziland's HIV crisis.
The Swaziland Behavioral Surveillance Survey (BSS) showed an astounding 71% HIV prevalence rate among female sex workers (FSWs) (Baral et al., 2014) It also found that men who have sex with men (MSM) have a 17% rate and nearly 70% of men are unaware of their status (Baral et al., 2013).