This week the Swaziland media contained several articles about the damage caused by relatives of gender-based violence victims who do not report the crimes for fear of ‘airing dirty family laundry’ in public (tibi tendlu or ‘house rubbish.’)
In this high HIV prevalence setting, a community-based testing programme achieved high uptake of testing, and appears to be an effective and affordable way to encourage large numbers of people to learn their HIV status (particularly underserved populations such as men and young people).
Since the first case of HIV was reported in the country in 1986, the virus has spread at an alarming rate, even though trends appear like we have stabilised. Swaziland has the highest HIV prevalence in the world at 26 percent.
Doctors Without Borders has recently reported that a mutated multi-drug resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) strain from Swaziland is not detected by many advanced rapid molecular diagnostic tests currently used throughout the world.