Mbabane: Despite notable challenges the Kingdom of Eswatini has maintained the strides of 95-95-95 HIV results.
This has placed the country among those that meet the global targets on HIV response.
UNAIDS Country Director Rose Craigue was speaking during the launch of World AIDS Day, organized by the National Emergency Response Council on HIV and AIDS (NERCHA) which was held at the Royal Villas on Wednesday.
The theme for the World Aids Day 2021 commemoration is End Inequalities, End Aids, and End Pandemics. The theme has then been adopted to a local context in line with the country’s vision of Ending AIDS by 2022, to “Together Ending AIDS, Inequalities, and Pandemics.
The UNAIDS Country Director Rose Craigue said it was very much encouraging that the country has managed to maintain the 95-95-95 results.
The country first achieved the milestone in 2019 and in 2020 the country continued to maintain the same results despite the global health challenges which include the COVID-19 pandemic.
The UNAIDS Director said the country succeeded in reducing new HIV infections by 64 percent and AIDS-related deaths by 53 percent.
She added that the Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission (PMTCT) coverage was above 95 percent. Craigue said there were greater achievements that should be celebrated and set to improve on, however the battle to end HIV as a public health threat was not yet over.
She said there was a great need to intensify efforts in the fight on HIV saying we are now in the last mile.
She said the country cannot afford to lose focus as this could result in losing the hard-earned gains. “We must safeguard and even improve our gains,” She said.
The Minister of Health Lizzie Nkosi also shared the same sentiments that the country needs to maintain its status and improve on the notable achievements that the country has achieved.
The Minister emphasized that vulnerable groups should be put at the centre of HIV response.
Nkosi said the country’s achievements in the fight against HIV and AIDS can easily be reversed if vulnerable groups and key populations are not placed at the centre of their response.