Excerpts from "A Traveller's Guide to Swaziland" by Bob Forrester.
CARS and DRIVING
Index to information in the guide
AIDS is widespread in Swaziland which has one of the worlds highest infection rates, along with Botswana. Figures vary, but there is general consensus that about 39% percent of pregnant women are HIV-positive and that around 29% of adults are positive. It is likely to be much higher in certain sectors of the population, like prostitutes. Throughout southern Africa there is widespread denial of the problem and very few people will admit that they are HIV-positive, while others do not believe that it exists at all.
However Swaziland has a highly effective system of clinics spread around the country where anyone can go and be tested and receive counseling, antibiotics, ARVs and high protein food free. People who sign up for the scheme come once a month to have their CD 4 counts monitored.
The high rate of other sexual diseases suggests blood to blood contact is much higher than in the first world. Condom use is widely seen as being unmasculine and "unSwazi". Never have unprotected sex in this part of the world. Condoms are readily available at chemists and often at the borders.
The Finance Minister in his 2003/4 budget stated that by 2010 the population is projected to be 40% lower than it would have been without AIDS, this now appears to be roughly correct as the population has not grown between the 1997 and 2007 censuses. There are approximately 100 000 orphans in the country now, the same figure as the number of people employed in the formal sector.