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HIV and the Kingdom of Swaziland

Princess_Swaziland_013The Kingdom of Swaziland is a landlocked country that has an estimated population size of 1,018,449 people according to the 2007 population census. There are 537, 021 females and 481,428 males, with 52% of the population under the age of 20 years old. There are 79% of the population that live in rural areas while 23% live in towns and cities. Swaziland has a young age structure. The total fertility rate is estimated at 3.8 births and life expectancy at birth declined from 56 years in 1986 to 32.5 years in 2003 (Swaziland demographic and health survey, SDHS 2007). The drastic decline in life expectancy is mostly attributed to the impact of HIV/AIDS epidemic (SDHS, 2007).

These are hard hitting facts about Swaziland. Another fact is that with the current HIV and Socio-economic burden they face, they are one of the most warm, happy and hospitable people i have had the honour of meeting. They are very hard working, patient and helpful. They also do a lot of grass root work towards reducing the current HIV trends and it is my hope that they make amazing progress in the coming years.

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