The Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation announced recently that it is expanding its HIV treatment and prevention programs in six districts in Lesotho.
Lesotho, a landlocked country surrounded on all sides by South Africa, has the third highest rate of HIV/AIDS in the world. According to UNICEF, approximately 23% of those aged 15 to 49 years are living with HIV.
“Lesotho has lagged behind other counties in sub-Saharan Arica in terms of reducing new HIV infections,” Appolinaire Tiam, country director of the foundation, said in a press release. “This programmatic shift will allow us to accelerate our efforts to prevent new HIV infections and provide HIV care and treatment to those in need.”
The expansion is supported by USAID and by provisions in the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), and includes increased access to HIV testing and counseling, prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV services, adult and pediatric HIV care, early infant HIV diagnosis, nutrition programs and tuberculosis prevention and treatment.
The foundation will work with staff at local health facilities as well as with officials from the Lesotho Ministry of Health in capacity development and improving HIV care in each of the six districts.