eSwatini : NERCHA says 160 females contract HIV per month

APA-Mbabane (eSwatini)

About 40 females get infected with HIV per week in eSwatini, which translates to 160 new infections per month.

National Emergency Response Council on HIV and AIDS Council (NERCHA) Director Khanya Mabuza said this at a meeting between the media and the organisation at the Mountain Inn on Friday.

NERCHA presented the National Multi-Sectoral HIV and AIDS Strategic Framework 2019 – 2023 where the director said the number was much higher than that of males as only six men recorded new infections per week.

“What further concerns us are the high figures of new infections in the two neighbouring countries that we are attached to, Mozambique and South Africa (SA). These are countries we visit frequently.”

A study he tabled at the meeting indicated that in SA there were 1 500 females and 620 males who recorded new infections per week while in Mozambique the numbers were on 550 for females and 310 for males.

“Our trends have indicated that females contract HIV while they were younger while men contracted it at a later stage,” he said, attributing this to intergenerational sex and transactional sex.

Mabuza also listed Eswatini’s successes in the fight against HIV, describing the work done by Anti-Retroviral Treatment (ART) as marvelous.

He said on those taking ARVs, there levels of the virus in their systems was suppressed to the lowest levels.

“About 96 per cent of women taking ARVs have the virus suppressed while with men the percentage of same is on 93 per cent. The rate of transmission from mother to child was at about one per cent, a level he said was not worrisome,” he said.


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