King Mswati III is 33 years old and has reigned as the King of Swaziland for the last 15 years. In February 1999 His Majesty King Mswati III declared a state of emergency in Swaziland in response to the rising prevalence of HIV infection. This resulted in the formation of a multi-sectoral crisis management and technical committee and a cabinet level HIV/AIDS committee. In 2000, His Majesty chaired a national AIDS consultative forum which included traditional leaders, people living with HIV/AIDS, civic groups, business leaders and government officials. His Majesty King Mswati III serves as the patron of a youth group called "Khulisa Umtfwana" (Grow Up a Child) which promotes traditional activities for young people. In May 2001, His Majesty launched a fund-raising initiative to assist Southern African countries to respond to the HIV/AIDS epidemic.
The young people featured with His Majesty King Mswati III are all HIV-positive and are members of Swaziland AIDS Service Organization (SASO).
"We must embrace a culture of compassion towards those who have contracted HIV and not treat them as outcasts from community life."
-- His Majesty King Mswati III
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