The National Condom Strategy 2010-2015: A Call for Safer Sex
HIV and AIDS continues to be an overwhelming crisis in Swaziland, rapidly spreading and impacting deeply on the social, cultural and economic spheres of life. The rising HIV prevalence and its consequences are putting enormous pressure on an already stretched health care system in the country. The main drivers of the epidemic in Swaziland are multiple concurrent sexual partnerships, early sexual debut, low levels of condom use, inter-generational sex, mobility and migration, low levels of male circumcision, and alcohol and drug abuse (NSF, 2009 - 2014). All these factors link to behavior change.
Therefore a wide realization on the extent to which change in sexual behavior reduces the spread of HIV transmission is crucial. The Government has prioritized HIV transmission and identified key health sector based interventions reduction of new infections and this calls for, among others scaling-up, promotion and proper management of condoms. It is the plea of government that sexually active populace reduce the number of sexual partners and avoid social and sexual behaviors that expose them to the risk of Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) and unintended pregnancies.
In addition, people are encouraged to use condoms as protection against HIV and other STIs. In recognition of the high HIV incidence the country will scale up its efforts for slowing and reversing HIV infection transmission. The Condom Strategy is thus designed with the goal of enhancing access by all sexually active people to high quality condoms at affordable prices through effective and responsive service delivery systems. The Strategy also endeavors to heighten risk perception through public education and advocacy with the view of translating the current knowledge and awareness of HIV&AIDS, into avoidance of risky behaviors.
The Condom Strategy enjoins many stakeholders in its implementation and success, including the Government and its Departments, the private sector, non-governmental organizations, Development Partners, communities and individuals. Under the co-ordination of the Sexual Reproductive Health Unit in whose docket falls the Reproductive Health Strategy, the Swaziland National AIDS Programme in the Ministry of Health and National Emergency Response Council on HIV/AIDS will provide key inputs in operationalising the Strategy.