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MAINSTREAMING HIV/AIDS IN HOUSING DEVELOPMENTS AND PLANNING IN SWAZILAND

Abstract
By : William N. Ndlela

 
Swaziland is one of the countries with the highest Human Immune-deficiency Virus (HIV) rates in the world. Consequently, the increased need for care and support for people living with Acquired Immune-deficiency Syndrome AIDS), as well as orphaned and vulnerable children, is unprecedented. The response to combat the HIV epidemic has been evident in many areas as the country continues its fight against the HIV epidemic. However, efforts to provide care and support - including Anti-Retroviral Therapy (ART), management of opportunistic infections, and community homebased care - have, so far, largely stemmed from the health sector. Housing care and other non-medical support is continuing to lag behind. Lack of proper housing is one of the deprivations suffered by orphaned children and people living with AIDS, which predisposes them to attacks by opportunistic infections and other vulnerabilities and disrupts the continuum of care, whilst at times denying occupants the required privacy. This paper focuses on creating an understanding of why housing care and support for HIV and AIDS affected is lagging behind in Swaziland. It suggests cultural, economic, political and policy issues as the underlying reasons for this, and, therefore, concludes that there is need for bold policy reforms in these areas. In order to create a proper framework for such reforms, the paper reviews the following: 1. The national housing policy's implications on the care and support for people living with HIV and AIDS and the orphaned and vulnerable children; and
2. The current human settlements related responses to HIV and AIDS in Swaziland's rural, peri-urban and urban areas.
In this context, urban development planning paradigms and the extent to which HIV and AIDS is being integrated into the development plans are discussed.
Keywords : Housing, HIV, AIDS, Mainstreaming, Care and Support, Organised Self-Help Housing.

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