Average Lifespan in Swaziland Plummets to 27 Years
July 13, 2001
According to a survey released by US Ambassador to Swaziland Gregory Lee-Johnson, the AIDS epidemic will cut life expectancy in the kingdom to 27 years by 2010 unless its government launches a radical campaign against the epidemic. Life expectancy has already been slashed from 58 to 33 years because of the epidemic, and the disease is spreading unhindered among the country's youth. "Swaziland's population will be 25 percent smaller than it should be in 2010 as a direct result of HIV/AIDS deaths. The average life expectancy will be only 27 years, with an estimated 36 percent of the population HIV-positive," Lee-Johnson said. "This kind of short life span is reminiscent of conditions found in countries at the beginning of the 20th century. When will we get a national strategy against HIV/AIDS?" he asked. Swaziland is estimated to already have 50,000 AIDS orphans, with the number expected to rise to 300,000 by 2016. The US and British embassies have played a highly visible role in the battle against HIV/AIDS in Swaziland.
African Eye News Service
This article was provided by U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update. Visit the CDC's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.