ICAP staff tabled at the first ever Pride march and festival in Eswatini (formerly Swaziland), which took place on Saturday, June 30, in the country’s capital, Mbabane. ICAP’s display included information on HIV care and treatment programs and how to connect to health services, and offered both male and female condoms free of charge.
More than 500 people attended the parade, which was organized by local nonprofit Rock of Hope and supported by international LGBT advocacy organizations including All Out and Human Rights Campaign.
The festival area offered ICAP an opportunity to highlight the organization’s 15th anniversary and its efforts in Eswatini since activities began in 2005. ICAP focuses primarily on HIV, with projects on prevention of maternal-to-child transmission (PMTCT), early infant diagnosis, HIV drug resistance surveillance, laboratory improvement, and ongoing training of health care workers, epidemiologists, and researchers.
Leading efforts to achieve the UNAIDS 90-90-90 targets, ICAP promotes differentiated service delivery (DSD) to improve health outcomes among specific populations by tailoring HIV outreach and care to their needs. One key population in Eswatini is men who have sex with men (MSM), which made Pride an important venue for outreach.
ICAP also implemented the SHIMS and SHIMS 2 HIV population-based surveys that estimated national levels of HIV incidence, prevalence, and viral load suppression. In the five years between the surveys, Eswatini cut its rate of new HIV infections in half and doubled its population viral load suppression.