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SD’S NEW HIV INFECTION RATE TOO HIGH, SAYS PM

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image Director of Global Fund Dr Mark Dybul (2nd R) poses with donor agency representatives during the Affirmation of Partnership for HIV Prevention Initiatives in Swaziland held at the Cabinet Offices yesterday. (Pic: Mduduzi Mngomezulu)

MBABANE – Government has admitted that the country is not doing well in the area of new HIV infections.


This was said by Prime Minister (PM) Sibusiso Barnabas Dlamini, who said the new infection rates were too high and the country was far from hitting zero new HIV infections, which is the country’s goal for 2022. Dlamini was speaking at the Cabinet Offices yesterday afternoon during the launch of the HIV Prevention Initiatives in Swaziland, particularly focusing on the intervention for Adolescent Girls and Young Women (AGYM).


Present during the ceremony, which also saw the symbolic lighting of the Partnership Candle for HIV prevention, was Executive Director of the Global Fund Dr Mark Dybul. Dr Dybul heaped praises on both His Majesty King Mswati III and the PM, including government, for showing commitment in the fight against HIV. During his remarks, the PM said there should no longer be any ignorance about how HIV was contracted.


“Furthermore, it is not satisfactory at all to take the view – oh well, I can always get treatment if I contract HIV,” said Dlamini. He said the country’s heavy artillery in achieving the zero new infections by 2022 revolved around the word ‘prevention’.


He said a great deal of work had already been done in the area of prevention but without the requisite degree of success. “It is now time for innovative approaches and it is for that reason that we are launching this partnership involving our own technical experts working with the heavyweights of the global fight against HIV/AIDS whose representatives are with us today,” said Dlamini.


He said the most vulnerable group were adolescent girls and young women and if this problem could be cracked then, with regard to getting new HIV infections, the country could get close to home by 2022.

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