With the multitude of achievements eSwatini has attained in the HIV response, most notable is providing treatment for People Living with HIV (PLHIV), mainly through domestic resources, and maintaining this commitment despite the fiscal challenges facing Government.
The ENDING AIDS AGENDA calls for our collective efforts in order to achieve our 2022 target. The 37 year journey has been a laborious one for us Emaswati as we battled with a pandemic that saw us claim the number one spot in the world for being the smallest country with a high HIV Prevalence.
For the past two weeks or so, I have been laughing my lungs out at the different messages and memes shared by ‘’the male gender’’ on social media and how they feel about Valentine’s day. Like honestly though, why do men fear Valentine’s day so much, and when will they ever get used to Valentine? READ MORE....
The second step is for People Living with HIV to ensure they record their status on all hospital admissions relating to COVID-19. This in turn will ensure that antiretroviral treatment (ART) is maintained during hospital stay, including during intensive care. Interrupting ART typically results in the rapid rebound of HIV replication, with a detrimental effect on immune and inflammatory responses that can complicate the management of COVID-19.
“It is unacceptable that, HIV remains the leading cause of death for women aged 15–49 years and that poor women and girls are denied the right to make decisions about their health and their bodies. Adolescent girls (aged 15 to 19 years) have experienced forced sex at some point in their lives. All women and girls must have the right to choose if they have sex, and with whom, and further given the right knowledge and information on how to protect themselves.
Having HIV raises your risk for AIDS-related cancers. In fact, Kaposis sarcoma is rare in people who don’t have HIV. HIV is linked to a higher risk for certain types of cancer. But AIDS-related cancers have become less common. This is likely because people are getting antiretroviral drugs. Fortunately, enough for Eswatini, most PLHIV are on HIV treatment and virally suppressed, which has become a huge milestone achieved way ahead of many other countries.
This Essential HIV and AIDS programme for the Higher Learning Institutions is based on HIV and AIDS and related issues aimed at supporting Higher Learning Institutions in mobilizing their responses to HIV and AIDS. Information will be disseminated through presentations, testimonies and films. Two films will be used to cover the facts about HIV. These films will present basic facts on HIV and AIDS (how it progresses in the body, how it is transmitted, positive living, treatment and more).
The global 95-95-95 target means that 95% of people living with HIV in Eswatini know their status, that 95% of those who know their HIV positive status are accessing treatment and that 95% of people on treatment have suppressed viral load. This means, an entire generation of children are likely to be born HIV free because of wide treatment coverage. This shows how great progress is made when governments commit to investing in the health of their people.
These milestones would not be achieved without continuous support from partners who provide technical, financial, and infrastructural support to ensure the delivery of quality HIV services. The Premier said Government will enhance its investments to the HIV response in-order to reach the ambitious goal of stopping new infections and AIDS related deaths as set in the vision of ending AIDS by year 2022- eight years before the global target.
Research shows that young people between the ages 15-24 are most affected by HIV / AIDS and a sizable number of them are girls reported to be falling pregnant which is a sign that they do not use protection. It is also imperative that our youth be consistently encouraged to use protective measures to prevent HIV infections. Prevention remains the Cornerstone of ending AIDS. We will not be able to treat ourselves out of the pandemic, only adopting appropriate behavior reduces the need for treatment.