In 2007, AHF established a clinic in Manzini, Swaziland’s second largest city, to care for HIV positive patients in and around the city, and to alleviate some of the capacity limitations created by the expanding need for ART. The founding of the clinic was realized through AHF’s partnership with the Manzini Municipal Council, the Ministry of Health, and Population Services International in conjunction with Family Life Association Swaziland and AMICAALL Swaziland. The AMICAALL program is responsible for the coordinating the clinic’s services with other prevention activities, social support and community mobilization. Currently the AHF clinic Lamvelase is the only clinic providing comprehensive HIV care where all HIV related HIV services are integrated under one roof. These include tuberculosis treatment and testing and Sexual Reproductive Health services that include Family planning, antenatal care, and cervical cancer screening. The clinic also has in-house laboratory equipment for performing all testing with immediate results.
The AHF clinic has gained popularity for its quality of care and relatively short wait times. In addition to the prevention and treatment offered through the healthcare center, AHF Swaziland conducts outreach and plans events to promote condom use and get people tested. In 2009, AHF Swaziland started distributing AHF-branded LOVE Condoms and offering confidential, rapid HIV testing all around Swaziland. These advocacy efforts recently paid dividends when the Love condom was adopted as the national free issue condom for distribution.
Like neighboring South Africa, Swaziland has been severely impacted by the HIV epidemic. Adult HIV prevalence in 2009 was around 26% – the highest in the world. Each year close to 7,000 Swazis die of AIDS-related causes.
With the growth of the national ART program, stigma associated with HIV is gradually decreasing in Swaziland. As more people are coming forward to get tested, however, most of the government-run ART clinics are surpassing their capacity to provide care.
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