Combating the HIV/AIDS pandemic in Eswatini is a top priority. Over one-quarter of adults are infected with HIV, an estimated 40 percent of pregnant women are infected, and AIDS is the leading cause of death among children under 5 years old. In partnership with the President’s Emergency Plan for HIV /AIDS and the Government of the Kingdom of Eswatini, USAID works to address HIV/AIDS in five key areas:
- Preventing sexual transmission: Working with various local and international partners, we distribute condoms and provide HIV counseling and testing. We also engage in longer-term efforts such as encouraging strong leadership for HIV prevention and encouraging everyone in the country to protect themselves.
- Increasing the prevalence of male circumcision: Because male circumcision greatly decreases the risk of HIV infection among heterosexual males, USAID is working to encourage safe circumcisions performed by health professionals.
- Improving institutions and training people: USAID works to improve the ability of organizations and government agencies to provide effective, high-quality services. We provide training to people involved in healthcare at various levels, including policy-making, management and service delivery.
- Lessening the impact of HIV/AIDS: In conjunction with HIV testing programs, we refer people who test positive to appropriate care. We also focus on expanding medical services to prevent HIV-positive mothers from passing the virus to their children during childbirth.
- Decentralizing care and treatment. USAID supports the expansion of basic health, education and psychosocial support services through the establishment of Neighborhood Care Points. This program includes assisting in planning for a stronger child protection system.
Women Economic Empowerment
The Women's Employment for Economic Recovery Program improves women's economic participation by addressing legal and regulatory shortfalls and creating greater economic opportunity through access to financial services and improved hiring practices. The activity works to improve outcomes for women in the workforce, as well as women entrepreneurs, by addressing legal restrictions that prevent women from fully participating in the economy; unlocking credit and facilitating more favorable lending practices toward female entrepreneurs; and engaging men and boys in the private sector, and society at large, to combat harmful gender norms.