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International News

Swaziland: Shortage of Funds to Fight Ignorance and Disease -- AIDS and HIV

April 18, 2012

Swaziland's HIV rate is the world's highest. More than one-fourth of adults are HIV-positive, and approximately half of the deaths of children under five are virus-related. And, despite governmental efforts, Swazis' grasp of HIV/AIDS information remains poor.

Cultural mores concerning sexuality worsen matters. According to a spokesman for the Swaziland Coalition of Concerned Civic Organizations, "When a western [non-governmental organization] puts out a message about condoms, someone turns up on radio ... and says, 'Don't be silly, our job is to produce children.'"

Although a campaign encouraging adult male circumcision -- funded by the US President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief -- fell short of its target, the promotion of infant male circumcision is faring better. Seventy-eight percent of those needing antiretrovirals (ARVs) are now covered, and testing can be conducted domestically.

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Reader Comments:

Comment by: Hugh7 (Porirua, NZ) Fri., Apr. 20, 2012 at 12:35 am EDT
"Although a campaign encouraging adult male circumcision -- funded by the US President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief -- fell short of its target, the promotion of infant male circumcision is faring better."
Sure it did. Men can say "No thanks, I'd rather enjoy all my genitals". Babies can't.
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