Swaziland is a small country in southern Africa with a population of just over a million people. And every year there are less and less people. In a sense, the record state. True, these records with a minus sign. The country has the shortest life expectancy and the highest level of plague infection of the twentieth century - HIV infection.
This plague was transmitted, apparently, from South Africa - the leader in the number of infected. True, Swaziland is far behind its southern neighbor in terms of the standard of living - 70% of the population lives on less than one dollar a day. Despite the fact that the literacy rate in this country is one of the highest in Africa: more than 80% of the population received an education not lower than primary school.
Stigma for HIV
Over the past fifteen years, life expectancy in Swaziland has almost halved: from 60 to 32 years (!). The reason is not only in total hunger: more than a third (according to some data - about 40%) of the population are HIV carriers. And this deadly stigma rarely allows you to live to old age. By the way, on the stigma: in the spring of 2009, parliamentarian Timothy Myeni suggested making special tattoos on the buttocks of HIV-positive compatriots. This caused a public outcry, and Mr. Myeni was forced to publicly apologize for the idea of violating human rights.
Nevertheless, Swazis are likely to live a short but bright life. So, during an intimate opinion poll, most men responded that they would refuse to do tests for their virus, but less than half intend to protect themselves with condoms during random sexual acts. However, most carriers of the virus are young women aged 15–24 years. Among this age group, women are four times more infected than men.
The words of the country's secretary general of trade unions, Jena Sithole, are full of bitterness and grief: “The overwhelming majority of workers and laborers in my country find it difficult to feed themselves daily. 69% of the population lives below the poverty line. We “hold” the dubious mark of the highest HIV prevalence not only in Africa, but throughout the world. Almost half of the nation survives only thanks to food aid. ”.
Nevertheless, the plight of the country does not prevent the king of Swaziland Mswati III from time to time to give his numerous wives brand new BMW cars for 80 thousand dollars and build locks for 20 million to them, as well as to organize the public elections of the next bride. Thousands of topless naked girls are dancing in front of the loving king, the famous “Reed Dance”, and only one of them will become this year another young, often minor, queen. Moreover, this is being done against the background of a formal ban on intimate relationships with minors for five years (from 2001 to 2005, canceled a year earlier than scheduled). However, Mswati regularly pays the fines imposed by him - a cow for breaking the law. Such a fine is an inadmissible luxury for some poor Swazi family, but not Mswati.
However, the 41-year-old monarch has not yet been able to outdo his father, King Sobhuzu II - he recently chose the 14th wife. Father Mswati had 90 of them. But then it was a little better with AIDS.
So, let's go to Swaziland? I personally changed my mind.