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Swaziland HIV incidence results announced at AIDS 2012
Date:7/27/2012

The results from a nationally representative HIV incidence study in Swaziland indicate that the national rate of new HIV infections is 2.38% among adults ages 18-49. This figure, comparable to the 2009 UNAIDS estimate of 2.66% for Swaziland adults ages 15-49, suggests that the HIV epidemic in Swaziland may have begun to stabilize in the past few years. The findings of the Swaziland HIV Incidence Measurement Survey (SHIMS) were presented today at the XIX International AIDS Conference in Washington DC.

"The country continues to have very high HIV incidence rates. Since HIV services in Swaziland are more widely available now and we understand that ART treatment prevents the spread of new infections, the Ministry of Health will use these new results to plan HIV prevention, care, and treatment programs in Swaziland," said Rejoice Nkambule, deputy director of health services public health at the Ministry of Health. SHIMS was led by the Swaziland Ministry of Health and supported by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and ICAP at Columbia University through the U.S. President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR).

SHIMS is a multi-phase study designed to evaluate the impact of HIV prevention and treatment services in the country. The first phase of the SHIMS survey included approximately 13,000 households in Swaziland, representing a cross-section of the national population and consisting of 18,154 men and women, ages 18-49. Findings from the first phase indicated that the national prevalence of HIV in Swaziland is the highest in the world, with 31% of adults infected.

HIV-negative adults from the survey who gave permission were retested six months later and the number of new HIV infections were assessed using state-of-the-art laboratory methods. Retention rates were high, with 94% of participants completing follow-up at six months. "This is the gold standard method for measuring HIV incidence and it hasn't been a
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Contact: Stephanie Berger
sb2247@columbia.edu
212-305-4372
Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health
Source:Eurekalert

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