Ending the AIDS epidemic in Swaziland

12 April 2016

During a visit to Swaziland, UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibé met His Majesty King Mswati III and discussed the country’s ongoing response to the AIDS epidemic. Mr Sidibé commended His Majesty for his personal leadership and commitment to Fast-Track the end of the AIDS epidemic.

Mr Sidibé praised the country for increasing domestic resources for the AIDS response through the Swaziland HIV Investment Case. As investment is scaled up, more people are accessing antiretroviral therapy, with coverage estimated at 60% of adults and 43% of children living with HIV.

Swaziland has also successfully expanded services to prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV, with new child HIV infections reduced by 63% between 2009 and 2014. The country has achieved the goal of 90% of pregnant women living with HIV receiving antiretroviral medicines. This should further reduce the mother-to-child transmission of HIV rate, which stands at 1% at six weeks of age and 8% at the end of breastfeeding.

During his visit, Mr Sidibé also met the acting Prime Minister, Paul Dlamini, and the Minister of Health, Sibongile Ndlela Simelane. He underlined the importance of leaving no one behind in the AIDS response, including women, girls and key populations, and stressed the importance of prevention in the ongoing response to the epidemic.

During the courtesy call to the King, Mr Sidibé invited His Majesty to attend the United Nations General Assembly High-Level Meeting on Ending AIDS, which will take place from 8 to 10 June in New York, United States of America. 


“I wish to renew our commitment to increase the allocation of domestic resources to the AIDS response, with emphasis on investing in HIV prevention programmes so that our dream of a nation with zero new HIV infections is met and realized.”

His Majesty King Mswati III

“I congratulate you for your personal commitment and leadership on HIV and the bold decisions you have made on ending AIDS in Swaziland.”

Michel Sidibé, UNAIDS Executive Director

“Swaziland is committed to ending AIDS by the year 2022 in light of His Majesty the King’s vision.”

Paul Dlamini, acting Prime Minister

“Fast Tracking ending AIDS will require reaching the hard-to-reach through decentralization of services to where people are using the Gogo centres in every chiefdom, ensuring that no one is left behind.”

Sibongile Ndela, Minister of Health