While the Ministry of Health strives to continue providing
increasing multi-month antiretroviral dispensing to allow Basotho employed both
locally and in South Africa enough medication to cover three to six months,
HIV-positive people who are involved in HIV networks find support, purpose,
strength to combat stigma, and a better quality of life, Avec has revealed.
The Minister of Finance, Dr. Moeketsi Majoro recently disclosed during the budget speech that the move aims to increase the coverage of Anti-Retroviral Treatment (ART) while reducing incidences. He also stated that the ministry will further increase targeted HIV testing and services to key populations.
The Ministry was allocated M2.4 billion during the 2018/2019 fiscal year budget estimates earlier this month which by far covers 11 percent of the national budget and constituting the next largest portion after Education.
A statement issued by Avec has on the other hand indicated that the Seo Project featuring a network of people with HIV and allies fighting for freedom from stigma and injustice, is particularly focused on ending inappropriate criminal prosecutions of people with HIV, including for non-disclosure of their HIV status, potential or perceived HIV exposure or HIV transmission.
On this note while the programme has only reportedly begun in Lesotho, the Organisation’s work is said to include raising public awareness through community education efforts and outreach to mobilise and advocate for reform.
The statement meanwhile, asserts that by engaging and empowering those most directly affected to advocate on their own behalf and share their compelling personal stories, Seo helps build a growing grassroots movement to mobilise the advocacy necessary to end HIV criminalisation and promote a human rights-based approach to end the HIV epidemic.
At the moment, Lesotho has the second highest HIV prevalence in the world, and according to Michel Sidibè, director of UNAIDS, 4 children a day in Lesotho, are born with HIV.
HIV prevalence has peaked at 49,99% among Basotho women aged 35 to 39, according to UNAIDS Lesotho.
Sidibè pronounced this explosive disquisition in May 2018 on his visit to Lesotho.