New Data from Swaziland Show Global Efforts are Helping to Control the HIV Epidemic

Mother holds her baby, young boy sits near by

New results from the Swaziland HIV Incidence Measurement Survey (SHIMS 2) show not only how far we’ve come, but what we must do next to achieve HIV epidemic control.

The U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), CDC, and ICAP at Columbia University released new findings from the Swaziland HIV Incidence Measurement Survey (SHIMS2) at the 9th International AIDS Society Conference on HIV Science. The results show remarkable national progress in Swaziland, a country with the highest HIV prevalence rate in the world as of 2015, and provide clear evidence that global efforts are helping control the HIV epidemic.

The new results reveal that between 2011 and 2016:

  • The rate of new HIV infections in Swaziland were cut nearly in half, and
  • National rates of HIV viral load suppression doubled

This is a dramatic change for a country where, in 2011, almost 1 in 3 adults was living with the virus.

SHIMS2 is a Population-based HIV Impact Assessment (PHIA). PHIA are complex, national household surveys that directly measure progress toward global HIV targets. They also shine a light on the specific populations and geographic areas that require urgent attention and services. The Swaziland findings add to Population-based HIV Impact Assessments (PHIA) survey results from other PEPFAR-supported countries – Malawi, Zambia, and Zimbabwe – which were released in December 2016 and also indicate tremendous progress toward controlling the epidemic.

Working side-by-side with Ministries of Health, other U.S. government agencies, and ICAP at Columbia University, DGHT experts are lending expertise in epidemiology, laboratory science, and program services to help partners design, implement, and evaluate PHIA surveys. CDC’s role in implementing PHIAs are part of our commitment to a data-driven approach aimed at saving lives, maximizing U.S. investments and building countries’ sustainability. As a result of these efforts, we are contributing to the long-term stability of other nations, which makes the world a safer place for all of us.

In support of this data, CDC’s Division of Global HIV & TB (DGHT) has developed the following:

Official Statement

Quote from DGHT Director Shannon Hader, MD, MPH:

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“These results from Swaziland signal a dramatic transformation in a country where HIV was destabilizing families, communities, and the economy. They also show what we must do next to achieve HIV epidemic control. Global efforts are working – we can’t stop now.”

Press release


an overview of the key findings of the Swaziland study as well as the global impact of PHIA surveys


Key Findings

a full version of the Swaziland abstract and summaries of PHIA data from Malawi, Zambia, and Zimbabwe

Dear Colleague Letter

that calls attention to the impact of the PHIA results


an overview fact sheet of Population-based HIV Impact Assessments (PHIA) and an FAQ about these surveys


an infographic and moving graphic highlighting latest data, as well as social media cards to share with your networks