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Eswatini to reduce HIV cases

MBABANE. – A decrease in the annual number of new HIV cases in Eswatini is expected at the end of this year – from 4 800 in 2020 to 4 300 – according to World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates.

In 2020, Eswatini became the first African country to achieve “95-95-95 targets”: 95 percent of all HIV-positive people identified, 95 percent on antiretroviral medication (ART), and 95% of those receiving treatment experiencing viral suppression.

Thanks to that level of treatment, the number of HIV-related deaths has decreased from a peak of nearly 10 000 in 2005 to 2 600 in 2021 and 2 370 in 2022, according to the  2021 UNAIDS report. At the same time, HIV transmission from mother to child significantly decreased, from 6.3 percent in 2017 to 1.2 percent in 2022.

In a statement, the WHO’s Eswatini division said the achievements were largely due to political will and combined efforts from partners.

“The strong leadership at both the political and Ministry of Health levels, coupled with WHO Eswatini’s presence, has resulted in a well-coordinated response that also complements the support from partners’ evidence-based, patient-centred care at scale,” the WHO said. –

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