192705 Evaluation of HIV/AIDS education and prevention initiatives in Swaziland

Tuesday, November 10, 2009: 8:30 AM

Jessica Pike , Wellness, Health Promotion and Injury Prevention Program, Oakland University, Rochester, MI
Patricia A. Wren, PhD, MPH , School of Health Sciences, Oakland University, Rochester, MI
Stafford Rorke, DPhil, FACSM , Wellness, Health Promotion, and Injury Prevention Program, Oakland University, Rochester, MI
BACKGROUND: Swaziland has one of the highest adult HIV prevalence rates in the world (38.8%). A slight decrease in 2006 may indicate that education and prevention initiatives are working. Still, little research has summarized the range and efficacy of these efforts in Swaziland. This study investigated initiatives across public health sectors to find strengths, weaknesses, and accomplishments, and to identify challenges. METHODS: A structured literature review of 13 organizations and 7 key informant interviews focused on mission statements, organizational goals, initiatives, and challenges. The national coordinating body, National Emergency Response Council on HIV/AIDS (NERCHA) formed the backbone of the comparison. RESULTS: Six of the 13 organizations were dedicated solely to HIV/AIDS. Four organizations cited “education” or “prevention” within the organization's mission statement. Two set specific HIV education goals, while one organization noted HIV reduction as a goal. Prevention efforts focused on voluntary HIV testing, sexual reproductive health and condom distribution. Commonly cited challenges included lack of resources and lack of personnel. Key informants highlighted problems with tracking and evaluation, stigma and fear, and competition with other organizations. NERCHA created the National Strategic Plan to increase cohesion among organizations. CONCLUSIONS: Education and prevention initiatives are vital to stemming the HIV/AIDS pandemic. A continued need for innovative outreach efforts in Swaziland is imperative, especially with respect to the careful use of limited resources. Increased community, enhanced political leadership, and a personal commitment by the Swazi people are key steps to reversing the epidemic.

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe the extent and nature of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Swaziland. 2. Describe the national response to the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Swaziland. 3. Differentiate between care/support initiatives and education/prevention initiatives. 4. Evaluate the current response for commonality across and within sectors.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Bachelor of Science in Wellness, Health Promotion, and Injury Prevention
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.

See more of: HIV Prevention in Africa
See more of: HIV/AIDS