The Effects Of Aids On Swaziland

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  • 1. The Effects of AIDS on Swaziland Devastation in Africa’s “little kingdom”
  • 2. Swaziland- General Information • Known as the “little kingdom of Africa”, it has a land area of 6,704 sq. mi. (roughly the size of New Jersey) and a population of 1.1 million • The head of state is the king, called the Ngwenyama, which means “lion”. King Mswati III has been in power since 1987 • The legislature, called “Libandla”, is made up of two houses. The Senate has 30 members, and the House of Representatives has 65 members
  • 3. Who? • Highest adult AIDS prevalence rate in the world, which currently stands at 26.1% of people age 15 and up, and 38.8% of pregnant women • Lowest life expectancy in the world, at 31.88 years, down from 57 years in the past two decades • 10,000 adults and children died of AIDS in 2007 alone • There are currently more than 70,000 AIDS orphans in Swaziland, 13% of children under 15; 15,000 families are headed by orphaned children
  • 4. There are more than 70,000 children in Swaziland who have been orphaned. These children either live in the care of grandparents or elder siblings, or wander the land alone.
  • 5. What? • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome, commonly known as AIDS, is caused by the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). • HIV is spread through contact with an infected person’s bodily fluids, especially during sexual intercourse or sharing of hypodermic needles associated with drug use. • Experts hypothesize that HIV originated in west-central Africa in the late nineteenth or early twentieth century • Contraction of HIV leads to AIDS, which cannot directly kill a person, but instead makes them much more susceptible to deadly viral and bacterial infections. • AIDS cannot be cured; instead focus has been placed on preventing the spread of the deadly disease.
  • 6. HIV-1, shown in green, budding from a cultured lymphocyte. HIV attacks almost every organ in the body, lowering its defenses to other viruses and bacteria.
  • 7. Where? • Swaziland is a small country in Southern Africa • It is surrounded on three sides by South Africa, and is bordered on the east by Mozambique. • Swaziland is divided into four geographic regions; the most densely populated, and also most HIV prevalent, is the Middleveld, about 700 meters above sea level. The Middleveld consists of west and central Swaziland.
  • 8. Swaziland is located in Southern Africa, and is bordered by South Africa to the south, west, and north and by Mozambique to the east. The capitol is Mbabane.
  • 9. When? • Swaziland’s first case was reported in 1987 • In 1999, the king declared AIDS a “national disaster” • Sometime between 2001 and 2008, Swaziland passed Botswana and Lesotho to become the country with the highest AIDS prevalence rate in the world • Today, despite numerous prevention programs, Swaziland remains the worst infected country in the world. This leads us to ask…
  • 10. Why? • The two biggest reasons for the rapid spread of HIV/AIDS in Swaziland are polygamy and a popular movement to hide HIV status • The practice of polygamy is the accepted norm in Swaziland; as a result, many men, and even some women, have multiple sexual partners at the same time. This has caused the HIV virus to spread rapidly in a “chain reaction” type way • Another serious cause of the epidemic is peoples’ unwillingness to divulge their HIV status due to an enormous culture stigma surrounding the issue. The government estimates that only 20% of the population actually know their HIV status. Those who do know it keep it a secret; people who are confirmed as HIV positive are often disowned by their families and seen as immoral.
  • 11. The Solution • The Swazi government has made plenty of free condoms available to the general public at numerous distribution points • Behavior change campaigns have been introduced, promoting abstinence, condom use, and monogamy • Programs geared towards the prevention of mother to child transmission have been installed by UNICEF and AVERT in all healthcare centers providing antenatal care. These programs include voluntary testing, counseling, and the distribution of the anti-viral drug Nepravine • The availability of free testing for HIV has increased greatly in the past few years. The government has been attempting to encourage public figures to speak about their HIV status in an attempt to remove the cultural boundaries surrounding HIV testing and status.
  • 12. What can YOU do? • Donate to AVERT- An international charity dedicated entirely to the control and elimination of HIV/AIDS. You can read about this organization here: • http://www.avert.org/about.htm • And then donate here: • http://www.avert.org/donate.php • They accept credit cards, checks, and even Pay Pal. They have a regular donation option in case you would like to make periodic contributions.
  • 13. Works Cited • 26 May 2009. AVERT. 26 May 2009 <http://www.avert.org/aids-swaziland.htm>. • quot;AIDS.quot; Wikipedia. 25 May 2009. Wikipedia. 26 May 2009 <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AIDS>. • quot;Swaziland.quot; Wikipedia. 26 May 2009. Wikipedia. 26 May 2009 <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swaziland>.