Draft policy on safe male circumcision for HIV prevention
Swaziland has one of the most severe HIV and AIDS epidemics in the world, with an estimated HIV prevalence among pregnant women attending antenatal clinics of 42.0% in 2008. The Swaziland Demographic and Health Survey (2006/7) showed a prevalence rate of 19% for the population aged 2 years and older, and 26% for the adult population of reproductive age (15-49 years). According to the 2006/7 DHS results, the age-sex specific HIV prevalence among the 15-19 year age group was estimated at 10% for females and 2% for males, and the respective prevalence is as high as 49% (females) and 28% (males) for those aged 25-29. With such high HIV prevalence rates, the Swaziland HIV and AIDS epidemic is threatening the future survival of the country.
The Government of Swaziland is prioritizing HIV prevention within its national response to HIV and AIDS by adopting a comprehensive HIV prevention approach including male circumcision, in order to address the multiple factors that fuel the spread of infection in the country. A multi-sectoral HIV and AIDS policy has been developed which includes measures addressing prevention, treatment, care and support, and creating an enabling environment for a scaled-up and better coordinated national response to the HIV and AIDS epidemic. The policy commits to implementing new evidence-based interventions that can contribute to turning around the epidemic.