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Articles by Eswatini

activist in Swaziland during World AIDS day initiatives

‘Hands Up for HIV Prevention’ says IPPF Director General in Swaziland for World AIDS Day 2016

Mankayane, Swaziland - On 1 December, IPPF Director General, Tewodros Melesse, made an address on the occasion of World AIDS Day in the Kingdom of Swaziland along with His Excellency the Right Honourable Deputy Prime Minister, Mr Paul Dlamini, Honourable Minister of Health Ms Sibongile Ndlela Simelane, United Nations Resident Coordinator, Mr Israel Dessalegne, and the United States of America Ambassador to Swaziland, Ms Lisa Peterson. "It is an honour and a privilege to be commemorating World AIDS Day with you, the Swazi people. Every year, World AIDS Day provides us with the opportunity to take stock of how far we have come since the early days of the epidemic. I’d like to begin by taking us 30 years back in time, which was 1986. That year, IBM unveiled the first laptop. Mobile phones were the size and weight of large bricks. In apartheid-era of South Africa, Nelson Mandela was behind bars; and here in Swaziland, the country recorded its first case of HIV/AIDS. Many of you here today will agree with me when I say that, while Swaziland has not been immune to the many ways in which the world has changed over the past thirty years, it is the HIV epidemic more than anything else that has shaped this country during that time. For those of you who have lived through the epidemic, you will remember all too well the fear and the stigma that ran through this country and many African countries. You will remember how little we knew about HIV, and about how to prevent it. People living with HIV at this time deserve to be honoured. You showed us the strength and determination to fight for change. You were brave and angry, and gave hope to others. As I stand in front of you, I am keenly aware that there is not a single person here whose life, one way or another, has not been affected by HIV, and that all young people here today have never seen a world without HIV. The young people are the future but we have to remind ourselves that there is no future if we don’t invest in prevention. Many of you have loved ones who were taken from this world before their time. You grieved and continue to grieve the loss of brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers, children, grandchildren, friends, colleagues, and many others. These vibrant souls, remain with us always, in our hearts and in our minds, and give us energy to continue in the future. We can now take some comfort from the fact that the picture has changed dramatically in these past thirty years. Most significantly, people living with HIV are now living longer, healthier, and productive lives well into their old age, thanks to the availability of antiretroviral treatment that has transformed HIV infection into a chronic, manageable condition. I would like to take this moment to commend the Government of the Kingdom of Swaziland for its commitment to providing antiretrovirals free to all who need treatment. The impact of this cannot be underestimated. AIDS-related mortality has reduced by drastically and accordingly, life expectancy has now rebounded. The transmission of HIV from mother to child is close to being eliminated along with syphilis. And overall, Swaziland has also begun to see a downward trend of new HIV infections, especially among young people. ‘Now is not the time to be complacent’ These are remarkable successes, and Swaziland has established a strong foundation. Critically, this is a foundation upon which to build - not to rest. We cannot risk becoming complacent, as HIV remains the greatest public health and socio-economic challenge facing this country. Importantly, our response must be integrated with other key challenges. We know that there is a high unmet need for family planning, leading to high levels of unwanted pregnancy; we know that maternal and infant mortality is unacceptably high; and we know that the overall knowledge of sexual and reproductive health is exceptionally low among young people. ‘There is a serious prevention gap’ This situation is not unique to Swaziland. UNAIDS is raising the alarm about the global picture and what it calls the ‘prevention gap’. Efforts to meet the global target of ending AIDS by 2030 are off track and progress is at risk of stalling. The global community warns that if there is a resurgence of HIV, the epidemic will be impossible to control. This cannot be allowed to happen. Primary prevention has been and will continue to be an essential component of the HIV response. To attain an AIDS-free generation, we need new solutions, new innovations and, importantly, we need to reinvigorate our prevention efforts. Prevention saves lives, saves budget, and increases productivity. ‘Hands Up for HIV Prevention’ Today, people across the global are raising their hands to HIV prevention this World AIDS Day. There is no ‘one size that fits all’ and we must pay special attention to those that continue to be left behind. Young women and girls are at a particularly high risk of HIV infection. They need information and the freedom to make free and informed decisions about their sexual and reproductive health; they need access to effective HIV and sexual and reproductive health services; they need services that are youth-friendly; and they need gender-based violence to be eliminated and gender inequalities to be eradicated. We are also leaving key populations behind – including sex workers, people who inject drugs, transgender people, and men who have sex with men. Many countries in the world push these populations to the margins of society. It is essential that our prevention efforts bring these populations forward. To end HIV, no one can be left behind. I must commend the efforts to ensure the meaningful engagement of these populations; and by taking steps to remove barriers to access services. At the root of all of our prevention efforts is a recognition that the HIV epidemic is being fuelled by inequalities and prejudices entrenched within the legal, social and economic structures of society. Poverty, sexism, homophobia, and other forms of discrimination – are well known barriers to ending HIV. To ensure that everyone can live a life of hope, with dignity, respect and meaning – people must be free to make choices about their sexuality and well-being, in a world without discrimination. ‘We need to work together to give hope’ I truly believe that we will not see an end to HIV unless we work together, be it at the local level, the regional level or at the global level. The remarkable successes that we have witnessed have been the result, not of a single actor, but of a chorus of voices that have called out in unison for better access; and that demanded respect, care and compassion. Civil society in particular has an incredible track record of mobilizing the required response. It has been instrumental in changing public attitudes and perceptions, and has also be mobilised to address barriers that prevent people from realising their right to health. In conclusion, the power to end HIV and AIDS does not lie with a single individual, with a single organisation, or government structure. When we leverage the unique skills that we all bring to the table, we will reach our goal of ending AIDS both in Swaziland and the world. This power is ours and the time to act is now. If we work together as Obama says, ‘Yes, we can!’, then we can do it. I leave you with a story. Like FLAS, I visited the IPPF association in Iran who are working with underserved communities, such as sex workers, and integrating in society. I asked one young woman, ‘if you were God for fifteen minutes, what would you do?’ She said, ‘I would give hope, if you have hope, you can overcome your challenges’. We need to keep that hope and give that hope to the people. We can give that hope by doing it together."

Young people in Swaziland during the visit on IPPF Director-General, T. Melesse
01 December 2016

Young people must be at the forefront of HIV prevention

This year to mark World AIDS Day I travelled to Swaziland in southern Africa. I saw and heard first hand stories from a country that has made huge inroads in its efforts to curtail the HIV epidemic but it also led me take stock. The @ippf Director General with the Minister of Health and Dudu Simelane former Executive Director at FLAS, now with @IPPFAR #WorldAIDSDay pic.twitter.com/1xkvEkp3tT— FLAS | Temndeni (@FLAS79) December 1, 2016 It made me think about the 78 million people who have become infected with HIV and remember the 35 million who have died from AIDS-related illnesses. Great progress has been made in dealing with the HIV epidemic, especially with the increasing number of people living with HIV on treatment but we cannot become complacent as the decline in new HIV infections among adults has stalled. Globally, critical attention needs to be paid to reinvigorate HIV prevention efforts, with young people at the front and centre of the response. World AIDS Day is a good day for us to reflect and re-state our commitments to end the AIDS epidemic by 2030 as part of the Sustainable Development Goals. At the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) we remain committed to an integrated HIV and sexual and reproductive health (SRH) response. Of particular importance are young women and adolescent girls. According to UNAIDS nearly 7500 young women aged 15-24 years acquired HIV every week in 2015, the vast majority in southern Africa. In Swaziland, the HIV prevalence among young women aged 15-19 years is 10 per cent compared with 2 per cent among young men of the same age. The transition to adulthood is a particularly challenging time for girls in sub-Saharan Africa, who face a high risk of HIV infection and other sexually transmitted infections, unwanted pregnancies, and violence. This heightened vulnerability is intricately linked to deeply entrenched gender inequalities, harmful gender norms, and structures that limit women and girls from reaching their full potential. Young people within key populations also face particular HIV risks, including young men who have sex with men, young people who sell sex, young transgender people, and young people who inject drugs. This is often due to lower knowledge of risks or lower ability to mitigate those risks compared with their older, more experienced counterparts. These young people are often more vulnerable to discrimination, bullying, harassment, family disapproval, social isolation and violence. Also, young key populations often represent overlapping vulnerabilities and cannot be seen in discrete boxes, requiring a response that recognizes young people in all their diversity. This time last year, IPPF signed a memorandum of understanding with UNAIDS to ‘Fast-Track’ access to HIV prevention, testing and treatment options and SRH services by 2020. Under this partnership, IPPF is committed to deliver concrete actions to reach the most underserved people and ensure young people have the knowledge and means to protect themselves from HIV. Within IPPF’s Strategic Framework 2016-2022, we have committed to deliver 1.5 billion rights-based SRH services, including HIV, and reach 500 million young people with quality comprehensive sexuality education (CSE) programmes. The power to end HIV does not lie with a single individual, with a single organization, or government actor. When we leverage the unique skills that we all bring to the table, we will reach our goal of ending AIDS both in Swaziland and the world. This power is ours and the time to act is now. Director General of the @ippf joining the #handsupforhivprevention campaign in #Swaziland during the #WorldAIDSDay commemoration. pic.twitter.com/aYTTK1WK8G— FLAS | Temndeni (@FLAS79) December 1, 2016

Girls Decide landing image
30 June 2016

Girls Decide

This programme addresses critical challenges faced by young women around sexual health and sexuality. It has produced a range of advocacy, education and informational materials to support research, awareness-raising, advocacy and service delivery.    Girls Decide is about the sexual and reproductive health and rights of girls and young women. Around the world, girls aged 10 to 19 account for 23% of all disease associated with pregnancy and childbirth. An estimated 2.5 million have unsafe abortions every year. Worldwide, young women account for 60% of the 5.5 million young people living with HIV and/or AIDS. Girls Decide has produced a range of advocacy, education and informational materials to support work to improve sexual health and rights for girls and young women. These include a series of films on sexual and reproductive health decisions faced by 6 young women in 6 different countries. The films won the prestigious International Video and Communications Award (IVCA). When girls and young women have access to critical lifesaving services and information, and when they are able to make meaningful choices about their life path, they are empowered. Their quality of life improves, as does the well-being of their families and the communities in which they live. Their collective ability to achieve internationally agreed development goals is strengthened. Almost all IPPF Member Associations provide services to young people and 1 in every 3 clients is a young person below the age of 25. All young women and girls are rights-holders and are entitled to sexual and reproductive rights. As a matter of principle, the IPPF Secretariat and Member Associations stand by girls by respecting and fulfilling their right to high quality services; they stand up for girls by supporting them in making their own decisions related to sexuality and pregnancy; they stand for sexual and reproductive rights by addressing the challenges faced by young women and girls at local, national and international levels.

30 May 2016

Integra Initiative

Integra is a 5-year research initiative in Kenya, Malawi and Swaziland. It aims to reduce HIV infection, HIV-related stigma and unintended pregnancy. IPPF implements the Integra Initiative with support from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and in collaboration with the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and the Population Council.  

Family Life Association of Eswatini (formerly Swaziland)

For over 30 years, the Family Life Association of Eswatini (FLAE) has provided sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services to the people of Eswatini (formally Swaziland).

While family planning, antenatal, post-natal and post-abortion care form a key part of FLAE’s services, there’s a significant focus on HIV and AIDS programmes. Swaziland has some of the highest HIV and AIDS prevalence rates in the world. As a result, the prevention and management of HIV and AIDS, the provision of voluntary counselling and testing (VCT), and the prevention of mother to child transmission (PMTCT) are central to FLAE’s work.

FLAE has 15 service points, including 4 permanent clinics and 12 mobile facilities, staffed by a permanent team of 40 backed by 230 volunteers, 180 Youth Action Movement members and 29 peer educators.

Young people are a particular target for HIV and SRH sensitization. One of FLAE’s youth centres has its own radio studio, where young people make their own programmes concerning SRH issues. These are then played during FLAE’s roadshows and by major radio stations for nationwide broadcast. This is one strand in an innovative approach to communication. FLAE peer educators also provide training to the country’s Business Coalition Against AIDS.

Health, youth, education, women’s and regional development ministries are key partners for FLAE, and it has links with a large number of non-governmental organizations, including the Swaziland National Youth Council, Swaziland Health and Population Education, Population Services International, the Swaziland National AIDS Programme and PACT. Private sector partnerships include the Business Coalition Against HIV/AIDS and SWANNEPHA (a national network of organizations for people living with HIV and AIDS). FLAE is a member of the SRH Steering committee, the Gender Consortium and the Male Circumcision Task Force.

cover page
24 July 2014

“Stigma is still my most serious challenge”

This publication shares the experiences of people living with HIV. Men and women from Ethiopia, Mozambique and Swaziland talk about HIV-related stigma and describe their courage, inspirations, suffering, resilience and determination to trigger change. Their stories demonstrate how stigma and discrimination can hinder access to vital support and care and the prevention, testing and treatment of HIV. National and international organizations working on HIV-related issues have an immense responsibility towards people living with HIV, to change the unjust reality revealed by these personal stories into a better one. We must increase our efforts towards ensuring everyone enjoys a dignified, stigma-free life – one where every human being is valued and free of discrimination.

activist in Swaziland during World AIDS day initiatives

‘Hands Up for HIV Prevention’ says IPPF Director General in Swaziland for World AIDS Day 2016

Mankayane, Swaziland - On 1 December, IPPF Director General, Tewodros Melesse, made an address on the occasion of World AIDS Day in the Kingdom of Swaziland along with His Excellency the Right Honourable Deputy Prime Minister, Mr Paul Dlamini, Honourable Minister of Health Ms Sibongile Ndlela Simelane, United Nations Resident Coordinator, Mr Israel Dessalegne, and the United States of America Ambassador to Swaziland, Ms Lisa Peterson. "It is an honour and a privilege to be commemorating World AIDS Day with you, the Swazi people. Every year, World AIDS Day provides us with the opportunity to take stock of how far we have come since the early days of the epidemic. I’d like to begin by taking us 30 years back in time, which was 1986. That year, IBM unveiled the first laptop. Mobile phones were the size and weight of large bricks. In apartheid-era of South Africa, Nelson Mandela was behind bars; and here in Swaziland, the country recorded its first case of HIV/AIDS. Many of you here today will agree with me when I say that, while Swaziland has not been immune to the many ways in which the world has changed over the past thirty years, it is the HIV epidemic more than anything else that has shaped this country during that time. For those of you who have lived through the epidemic, you will remember all too well the fear and the stigma that ran through this country and many African countries. You will remember how little we knew about HIV, and about how to prevent it. People living with HIV at this time deserve to be honoured. You showed us the strength and determination to fight for change. You were brave and angry, and gave hope to others. As I stand in front of you, I am keenly aware that there is not a single person here whose life, one way or another, has not been affected by HIV, and that all young people here today have never seen a world without HIV. The young people are the future but we have to remind ourselves that there is no future if we don’t invest in prevention. Many of you have loved ones who were taken from this world before their time. You grieved and continue to grieve the loss of brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers, children, grandchildren, friends, colleagues, and many others. These vibrant souls, remain with us always, in our hearts and in our minds, and give us energy to continue in the future. We can now take some comfort from the fact that the picture has changed dramatically in these past thirty years. Most significantly, people living with HIV are now living longer, healthier, and productive lives well into their old age, thanks to the availability of antiretroviral treatment that has transformed HIV infection into a chronic, manageable condition. I would like to take this moment to commend the Government of the Kingdom of Swaziland for its commitment to providing antiretrovirals free to all who need treatment. The impact of this cannot be underestimated. AIDS-related mortality has reduced by drastically and accordingly, life expectancy has now rebounded. The transmission of HIV from mother to child is close to being eliminated along with syphilis. And overall, Swaziland has also begun to see a downward trend of new HIV infections, especially among young people. ‘Now is not the time to be complacent’ These are remarkable successes, and Swaziland has established a strong foundation. Critically, this is a foundation upon which to build - not to rest. We cannot risk becoming complacent, as HIV remains the greatest public health and socio-economic challenge facing this country. Importantly, our response must be integrated with other key challenges. We know that there is a high unmet need for family planning, leading to high levels of unwanted pregnancy; we know that maternal and infant mortality is unacceptably high; and we know that the overall knowledge of sexual and reproductive health is exceptionally low among young people. ‘There is a serious prevention gap’ This situation is not unique to Swaziland. UNAIDS is raising the alarm about the global picture and what it calls the ‘prevention gap’. Efforts to meet the global target of ending AIDS by 2030 are off track and progress is at risk of stalling. The global community warns that if there is a resurgence of HIV, the epidemic will be impossible to control. This cannot be allowed to happen. Primary prevention has been and will continue to be an essential component of the HIV response. To attain an AIDS-free generation, we need new solutions, new innovations and, importantly, we need to reinvigorate our prevention efforts. Prevention saves lives, saves budget, and increases productivity. ‘Hands Up for HIV Prevention’ Today, people across the global are raising their hands to HIV prevention this World AIDS Day. There is no ‘one size that fits all’ and we must pay special attention to those that continue to be left behind. Young women and girls are at a particularly high risk of HIV infection. They need information and the freedom to make free and informed decisions about their sexual and reproductive health; they need access to effective HIV and sexual and reproductive health services; they need services that are youth-friendly; and they need gender-based violence to be eliminated and gender inequalities to be eradicated. We are also leaving key populations behind – including sex workers, people who inject drugs, transgender people, and men who have sex with men. Many countries in the world push these populations to the margins of society. It is essential that our prevention efforts bring these populations forward. To end HIV, no one can be left behind. I must commend the efforts to ensure the meaningful engagement of these populations; and by taking steps to remove barriers to access services. At the root of all of our prevention efforts is a recognition that the HIV epidemic is being fuelled by inequalities and prejudices entrenched within the legal, social and economic structures of society. Poverty, sexism, homophobia, and other forms of discrimination – are well known barriers to ending HIV. To ensure that everyone can live a life of hope, with dignity, respect and meaning – people must be free to make choices about their sexuality and well-being, in a world without discrimination. ‘We need to work together to give hope’ I truly believe that we will not see an end to HIV unless we work together, be it at the local level, the regional level or at the global level. The remarkable successes that we have witnessed have been the result, not of a single actor, but of a chorus of voices that have called out in unison for better access; and that demanded respect, care and compassion. Civil society in particular has an incredible track record of mobilizing the required response. It has been instrumental in changing public attitudes and perceptions, and has also be mobilised to address barriers that prevent people from realising their right to health. In conclusion, the power to end HIV and AIDS does not lie with a single individual, with a single organisation, or government structure. When we leverage the unique skills that we all bring to the table, we will reach our goal of ending AIDS both in Swaziland and the world. This power is ours and the time to act is now. If we work together as Obama says, ‘Yes, we can!’, then we can do it. I leave you with a story. Like FLAS, I visited the IPPF association in Iran who are working with underserved communities, such as sex workers, and integrating in society. I asked one young woman, ‘if you were God for fifteen minutes, what would you do?’ She said, ‘I would give hope, if you have hope, you can overcome your challenges’. We need to keep that hope and give that hope to the people. We can give that hope by doing it together."

Young people in Swaziland during the visit on IPPF Director-General, T. Melesse
01 December 2016

Young people must be at the forefront of HIV prevention

This year to mark World AIDS Day I travelled to Swaziland in southern Africa. I saw and heard first hand stories from a country that has made huge inroads in its efforts to curtail the HIV epidemic but it also led me take stock. The @ippf Director General with the Minister of Health and Dudu Simelane former Executive Director at FLAS, now with @IPPFAR #WorldAIDSDay pic.twitter.com/1xkvEkp3tT— FLAS | Temndeni (@FLAS79) December 1, 2016 It made me think about the 78 million people who have become infected with HIV and remember the 35 million who have died from AIDS-related illnesses. Great progress has been made in dealing with the HIV epidemic, especially with the increasing number of people living with HIV on treatment but we cannot become complacent as the decline in new HIV infections among adults has stalled. Globally, critical attention needs to be paid to reinvigorate HIV prevention efforts, with young people at the front and centre of the response. World AIDS Day is a good day for us to reflect and re-state our commitments to end the AIDS epidemic by 2030 as part of the Sustainable Development Goals. At the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) we remain committed to an integrated HIV and sexual and reproductive health (SRH) response. Of particular importance are young women and adolescent girls. According to UNAIDS nearly 7500 young women aged 15-24 years acquired HIV every week in 2015, the vast majority in southern Africa. In Swaziland, the HIV prevalence among young women aged 15-19 years is 10 per cent compared with 2 per cent among young men of the same age. The transition to adulthood is a particularly challenging time for girls in sub-Saharan Africa, who face a high risk of HIV infection and other sexually transmitted infections, unwanted pregnancies, and violence. This heightened vulnerability is intricately linked to deeply entrenched gender inequalities, harmful gender norms, and structures that limit women and girls from reaching their full potential. Young people within key populations also face particular HIV risks, including young men who have sex with men, young people who sell sex, young transgender people, and young people who inject drugs. This is often due to lower knowledge of risks or lower ability to mitigate those risks compared with their older, more experienced counterparts. These young people are often more vulnerable to discrimination, bullying, harassment, family disapproval, social isolation and violence. Also, young key populations often represent overlapping vulnerabilities and cannot be seen in discrete boxes, requiring a response that recognizes young people in all their diversity. This time last year, IPPF signed a memorandum of understanding with UNAIDS to ‘Fast-Track’ access to HIV prevention, testing and treatment options and SRH services by 2020. Under this partnership, IPPF is committed to deliver concrete actions to reach the most underserved people and ensure young people have the knowledge and means to protect themselves from HIV. Within IPPF’s Strategic Framework 2016-2022, we have committed to deliver 1.5 billion rights-based SRH services, including HIV, and reach 500 million young people with quality comprehensive sexuality education (CSE) programmes. The power to end HIV does not lie with a single individual, with a single organization, or government actor. When we leverage the unique skills that we all bring to the table, we will reach our goal of ending AIDS both in Swaziland and the world. This power is ours and the time to act is now. Director General of the @ippf joining the #handsupforhivprevention campaign in #Swaziland during the #WorldAIDSDay commemoration. pic.twitter.com/aYTTK1WK8G— FLAS | Temndeni (@FLAS79) December 1, 2016

Girls Decide landing image
30 June 2016

Girls Decide

This programme addresses critical challenges faced by young women around sexual health and sexuality. It has produced a range of advocacy, education and informational materials to support research, awareness-raising, advocacy and service delivery.    Girls Decide is about the sexual and reproductive health and rights of girls and young women. Around the world, girls aged 10 to 19 account for 23% of all disease associated with pregnancy and childbirth. An estimated 2.5 million have unsafe abortions every year. Worldwide, young women account for 60% of the 5.5 million young people living with HIV and/or AIDS. Girls Decide has produced a range of advocacy, education and informational materials to support work to improve sexual health and rights for girls and young women. These include a series of films on sexual and reproductive health decisions faced by 6 young women in 6 different countries. The films won the prestigious International Video and Communications Award (IVCA). When girls and young women have access to critical lifesaving services and information, and when they are able to make meaningful choices about their life path, they are empowered. Their quality of life improves, as does the well-being of their families and the communities in which they live. Their collective ability to achieve internationally agreed development goals is strengthened. Almost all IPPF Member Associations provide services to young people and 1 in every 3 clients is a young person below the age of 25. All young women and girls are rights-holders and are entitled to sexual and reproductive rights. As a matter of principle, the IPPF Secretariat and Member Associations stand by girls by respecting and fulfilling their right to high quality services; they stand up for girls by supporting them in making their own decisions related to sexuality and pregnancy; they stand for sexual and reproductive rights by addressing the challenges faced by young women and girls at local, national and international levels.

30 May 2016

Integra Initiative

Integra is a 5-year research initiative in Kenya, Malawi and Swaziland. It aims to reduce HIV infection, HIV-related stigma and unintended pregnancy. IPPF implements the Integra Initiative with support from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and in collaboration with the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and the Population Council.  

Family Life Association of Eswatini (formerly Swaziland)

For over 30 years, the Family Life Association of Eswatini (FLAE) has provided sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services to the people of Eswatini (formally Swaziland).

While family planning, antenatal, post-natal and post-abortion care form a key part of FLAE’s services, there’s a significant focus on HIV and AIDS programmes. Swaziland has some of the highest HIV and AIDS prevalence rates in the world. As a result, the prevention and management of HIV and AIDS, the provision of voluntary counselling and testing (VCT), and the prevention of mother to child transmission (PMTCT) are central to FLAE’s work.

FLAE has 15 service points, including 4 permanent clinics and 12 mobile facilities, staffed by a permanent team of 40 backed by 230 volunteers, 180 Youth Action Movement members and 29 peer educators.

Young people are a particular target for HIV and SRH sensitization. One of FLAE’s youth centres has its own radio studio, where young people make their own programmes concerning SRH issues. These are then played during FLAE’s roadshows and by major radio stations for nationwide broadcast. This is one strand in an innovative approach to communication. FLAE peer educators also provide training to the country’s Business Coalition Against AIDS.

Health, youth, education, women’s and regional development ministries are key partners for FLAE, and it has links with a large number of non-governmental organizations, including the Swaziland National Youth Council, Swaziland Health and Population Education, Population Services International, the Swaziland National AIDS Programme and PACT. Private sector partnerships include the Business Coalition Against HIV/AIDS and SWANNEPHA (a national network of organizations for people living with HIV and AIDS). FLAE is a member of the SRH Steering committee, the Gender Consortium and the Male Circumcision Task Force.

cover page
24 July 2014

“Stigma is still my most serious challenge”

This publication shares the experiences of people living with HIV. Men and women from Ethiopia, Mozambique and Swaziland talk about HIV-related stigma and describe their courage, inspirations, suffering, resilience and determination to trigger change. Their stories demonstrate how stigma and discrimination can hinder access to vital support and care and the prevention, testing and treatment of HIV. National and international organizations working on HIV-related issues have an immense responsibility towards people living with HIV, to change the unjust reality revealed by these personal stories into a better one. We must increase our efforts towards ensuring everyone enjoys a dignified, stigma-free life – one where every human being is valued and free of discrimination.