The Kingdom of Swaziland, the country worst-affected by HIV on the planet, has made monumental gains in the fight against AIDS in the past five years.
This is according to research presented on Monday at the 9th International AIDS Society (IAS) Conference on HIV Science taking place in Paris this week.
At around 30 percent, the country has the highest HIV prevalence in the world. Prevalence refers to the proportion of people in a population affected by a disease.
While the HIV prevalence takes a long time to shift, the massive scale-up of prevention and treatments efforts have greatly reduced the number of new infections in the country. The rate of new infections – or incidence – has dropped by almost half since 2011 when the last population survey was conducted.
According to the Deputy Director of Health Services for the Swaziland Ministry of Health Dr Velephi Okello much of the success can be attributed to moving to a test-and-treat strategy (where patients are immediately placed on antiretrovirals regardless of their health status) and the ramping up of medical male circumcision programmes.