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Worldwide Medical Insurance News: Swaziland HIV epidemic 'appears to be stabilising'

People relocating abroad to Swaziland may be pleased to hear the HIV epidemic in the country appears to be stabilising.

According to data from the Swaziland HIV Incidence Measurement Survey (SHIMS), 2.38 per cent of all adults aged between 18 and 49 have been newly infected with the disease.

In 2009, the UNAIDS study estimated this figure to be 2.66 per cent among residents of the country aged between 15 and 49, which indicates new incidences of the condition have been relatively static in the past couple of years.

These statistics were presented at the Washington DC International AIDS Conference, which took place between July 22nd and 27th.

This meeting aimed to come up with strategies to deal with this international healthcare concern.

Currently, expatriate medical insurance providers and other healthcare professionals do not have a HIV vaccine or cure to offer people who suffer from the condition, which is most commonly found in sub-Saharan Africa.

In Swaziland, the most at-risk groups include men aged between 30 and 34, of which three per cent have HIV, as well as women aged between 20 and 24 and those between 35 and 39 years old, who have infection rates of 4.2 per cent and 4.1 per cent respectively.

Rejoice Nkambule, deputy director of health services and public health at the country's Ministry of Health explained the nation understands anti-retroviral treatments can reduce the number of new HIV infections in the region.

"The country continues to have very high HIV infection rates," he declared, adding: "The Ministry of Health will use these new results to plan HIV prevention, care, and treatment programs in Swaziland."

SHIMS was supported by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Presidents Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief and Columbia University's International Center for AIDS Care and Treatment Programs, while it was led by the Swaziland Ministry of Health.

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