Swaziland has the world’s highest HIV prevalence with 31 percent of the adult population between 18 and 49 living with HIV. Among women, this peaks between the ages of 30 and 34, with 54 percent of them living with HIV, and among men between the age of 35 and 39, it peaks at 49 percent.
Since early 2013, the Health Communication Capacity Collaborative (HC3) has been working in Swaziland on a variety of efforts to reduce the impact of HIV. A newly released multimedia resource highlights three of the activities that HC3 Swaziland has been leading to help mitigate the effects of HIV in the country. These include:
- Working with traditional leaders and their spouses
- Creating safe spaces and empowering young women under PEPFAR’s DREAMS initiative
- Providing health services and support to key populations (KP)
Each of these activities is unique to the other but they are all intertwined in order to reach all populations and communities in the small country.
By working with chiefs and their spouses, as well as inner council members who support the chiefs, HC3 aims to strengthen the capacity of these leaders so they can more effectively support those living with HIV and prevent others from contracting it.
Under DREAMS, HC3 is training community leaders to specifically support adolescent girls and young women in their communities and create safe spaces where they can thrive. The project is also encouraging them to continue their schooling and protecting them from early marriage. Young women are joining empowerment clubs hosted by HC3 mentors that combine savings and loans mechanisms with HIV information, communication skills-building, and business and skills development.
The KP program works specifically with sex workers and men who have sex with men, providing support groups and education sessions, bringing health services to KP with a mobile clinic and working with health facility staff to reduce some of the stigma associated with being a KP.
HC3 has captured some of its HIV work in Swaziland in the following multimedia-rich resource. The pictures, infographics, video and stories below provide a glimpse of the work on the ground by HC3 staff as well as results. This resource was designed to illustrate all the amazing work the Swaziland team is doing and the role HC3 is playing to lead to better HIV outcomes.