By Michelle Hough, Communications Officer
A group of 40 women and children are waiting for us as we arrive in the rural area of Velebantfu. They all have HIV, and so do many of the children.
I ask where all the men are. I’m told they are dead. Musa had told said that life expectancy in Swaziland was 37 years old. Many of the husbands and boyfriends who have died were in their 30s and 40s – an age when they could have actively contributed to the country’s workforce.
The women are now sick and frightened. They have little money and very little food or water. The local hospital provides antiretrovirals, but some women tell me they sometimes skip their monthly trip to the hospital because it is 45km away and they can’t always afford the bus fare. Some of the women I spoke to also have TB.