Toronto’s Globe and Mail Examines Lesotho’s HIV/AIDS Epidemic
Toronto's Globe and Mail on Thursday examined the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Lesotho, which has the world's third-highest estimated HIV prevalence -- about 30%. Lesotho, which has a population of about 1.8 million, began a national antiretroviral treatment program in November 2004, and the government says 10,762 people have begun treatment since its launch. However, according to the Clinton Foundation, only 5,200 people were given antiretrovirals this month. The "world woke up to the plight of Lesotho a few years ago," with the World Health Organization, the Global Fund To Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, the Clinton Foundation's HIV/AIDS Initiative, Partners in Health and other organizations offering "pots of money and technical assistance" to the country, according to the Globe and Mail. The country still lacks physicians, nurses, pharmacists and health educators and is "cloak[ed]" in "fear, shame, myths and lies" relating to the epidemic, according to the Globe and Mail. There are an estimated 40 practicing physicians in the country, and most are foreigners who do not speak Sesotho, the most common language in the country. The government -- which is "passionately engaged and committed to fighting" the epidemic -- now offers antiretroviral treatment at 30 sites throughout the country and in June plans to launch a "Know Your Status" campaign that aims to offer every person in the country an HIV test (Nolen, Globe and Mail, 4/6).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.