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MBABANE – Government plans to give adolescent girls monthly cash incentives to keep them safe from the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and sugar daddies.

Girls in the age group of 18 to 24 will be paid at least E200 per month, for the next five years. The World Bank pilot project under the DPM’s office has 9 000 girls already from four constituencies who have been identified as first beneficiaries of the project.

The girls would use the money to pay for their immediate needs, such as toiletries, sanitary pads, cologne and general things they desire.
Khanya Mabuza, the Director of National Emergency Response Council on HIV and AIDS (NERCHA) said his organisation came up with the initiative after having worked with other partners to develop an HIV/Aids Investment case, aimed at ending AIDS in Swaziland. 

He said the case came up with a plan to give adolescent girls monthly cash incentives to keep them safe from HIV.
Mabuza said the cash for the girls strategy was one highly innovative HIV prevention approach aimed at protecting the girls from contracting the virus.

The social protection programmes such as the cash grants approach aims at building the girls’ self esteem and mitigates structural risk factors that exacerbate their vulnerability to sugar daddies.
The director said the  cash transfer aimed at fending off prying sugar daddies that give girls money, to entice them into sexual encounters that result into their infection with HIV.
Mabuza said a budget of US Dollars (US$) 306.6 million (E3.3 billion) would be needed.

The director said cash for the girls strategy, was one highly innovative HIV prevention approach, to protect the young girls and young women from HIV.
He said the programme was one of the country’s new five ‘game changer’ strategies in the fight against the HIV scourge.

“Therefore, the cash incentive approach is aimed at building their self esteem and mitigates structural risk factors that exacerbate their vulnerability to sugar daddies,” he said.
“The programmes were all aimed at enabling the country to make savings in both lives and money in the long run.”
He identified these programmes as the scaling up of voluntary medical male circumcision, elimination of mother to child transmission of HIV, intensification of TB/HIV co-infection diagnosis and treatment, as well as the accelerated scale up of antiretroviral therapy (ART) for people living with HIV.

Some of these strategies have already been rolled out and include the hyped male circumcision programme, targeting males aged between 10 and 30.
Through the programme, 2 500 boys from various primary schools were circumcised by organisations such as the Population Service International (PSI) and the Family Life Association of Swaziland (FLAS) during the recent school holidays.
Meanwhile, Mabuza said girls, in the earlier mentioned age group, were selected for the project because studies found that they contributed 25 per cent to the national HIV incidence rate of 2.4 per cent that was established in the Swaziland HIV Incidence Measurement Survey (SHIMS) of 2012. “A number of other studies have revealed that in Swaziland young women between ages 18-24 were the most at risk to acquiring HIV as their sexual encounters were particularly risky,” said Mabuza.
He said the money was meant to empower the girls, build their self esteem and mitigate structural risk factors that exacerbate their vulnerability.

The director said studies had shown that they got infected from encounters with older men, who usually take advantage of their vulnerability.
“The sugar daddies give them money and buy them a lot of necessities which were usually not too costly. Therefore, giving them money would empower them to stop them from taking or accepting money from the uncouth men,” he said.
Mabuza said NERCHA and other stakeholders involved in the fight against the HIV scourge hoped that this initiative, together with the other four programmes, would reduce new infections by significant numbers.
Under the ongoing mass medical male circumcision (MC) project, for example, he said 80 per cent of Swazi males, between the ages of 10 and 30 were being targeted for the procedure in the next five years.
With this programme, Mabuza said Swaziland would avert at least 30 per cent of new HIV infections between 2014 and 2030.

These savings would also translate to an estimated US$50 million (E549 million) in future medical costs of new infections and reduce long term demand of MC.
Mabuza said the combined effect of the implementation of all five programmes would also lead to a 60 per cent reduction in new infections and 30 per cent reduction of AIDS deaths.
The successful implementation of the programmes would also result to the prevention of 200 000 children from being orphaned. “It would also result to long term savings amounting to one third of the projected fiscal burden of HIV without the upscale,” he said.

Comments (13 posted):

M Nyandzeni on 05/10/2014 04:58:32
Hhawu lentfo lena ngeke ize isebente. The girls will use up their money in a week & long for more. That's when sugar dadies will be their option. Senibajwayeta imali....
Xolani Simphiwe-Splendid Mkhatshwa on 05/10/2014 07:48:34
wrong move! Yimakhona lapho! What about the elderly and physically handicapped, not forgetting poverty stricken people - bafe yini?
Isaacs on 05/10/2014 08:13:46
How about them boys, who are all out to mantain a zero rate infection? The DPM office should consider that the girls will not do it o their own. Beleive me this will escalate and perpetuate violance
Ndlela Nkosikhona M on 05/10/2014 08:30:23
Labafana bona bangaya kulabo sugar mummies yn??Lokusho kuts ths HIV nw affect females only??....consider the yung boys tooooooooooo.
SINDY ZWANE on 05/10/2014 13:24:51
This is the most stupidest strategy I have ever come across in the fight against HIV.
Really on 05/10/2014 13:59:01
E200, do they really think that's enough incentive to stop these girls from opening their legs? Most of these sugar daddies can afford to drop 2k on these girls in a night.
Pure on 05/10/2014 14:48:48
How will you check which girls is not having intercourse? Will they have to undergo gynaecological checks every month?
Rill Dlamini on 05/10/2014 15:23:59
Meaningless, just a waste of money. Its like puffing smoke into the air that will disappear without any effect. Sex has become fashion nowadays and thats the way people feel.....kube nitsi nitobatsatsa niyobafihla ngabe siyeva. Lemali stoyidla sphindze silale nabo mosi.E200 lotophela within 3 hours batsenga ema-Simba chips, ow shame, pho ke singabuye sitsin nje. Oh poor swazi government, all you do is shamefull and ridiculous....hahaha, I laugh because I have a choice.
lonelypop on 05/10/2014 15:30:15
Give dem a million lilangini they will neva stop sleeping around....cause de are Addicted to SEX!!#FACT
Frank McGinness on 05/10/2014 16:26:55
As a circumcised male, I am quite aware of the sexual downgrading by having up to 85% of the exquisite fine-touch sexual receptors cut off and literally straitjacketing the penis by its own skin to prevent the mechanical movement for optimum sex for BOTH partners. I sincerely doubt these matters are made known to those electing circumcision so true consent is not given. This truth will rise up just as in the USA now men are rising up against circumcisers. And where Denmark and Sweden are honoring the UN Rights of the Child in banning unnecessary non medically urgent male circumcision to age 12.

Sorry to hear Swazi males are being targeted for their skins to be sold in the bio tech industries (foreskin fibroblasts aka stem cells). So it makes me sick to know the males are talked into giving up their most precious possession and female are given its cash. All our fears about men are projected onto little boys.

Say 99% of the circd male's life is not engaged in sex, so at this time, comfort from the foreskin is valuable and so is worthy.

The circumcision 3Ms - is it medicine, modification, or mutilation.

AND why wasn't these two studies equal to male circumcision not also promoted?
Stallings et al. 2009
"Risk of HIV among women who had undergone Female Circumcision is roughly
half that of women who had not. Association remained significant after
adjusting for region, household, wealth, age, lifetime partners and union
Female circumcision and HIV infection in Tanzania:
For better or for worse?
3rd IAS conference on HIV pathogenesis and treatment
International AIDS Society

"Women who have undergone Female Circumcision have a significantly decreased
risk of HIV-2 infection when compared to those who had not."
Kanki P, M'Boup S, Marlink R, et al.
"Prevalence & risk determinants of HIV type 2
(HIV-2) and human immunodeficiency virus type 1
(HIV1) in west African female prostitutes
Am. J. Epidemiol. 136 (7): 895-907. PMID

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