The programmes form part of a comprehensive response to meet global and national targets and commitments to end HIV and AIDS as a public threat by 2030 and the roadmap was adopted and validated through a consultative process in Lesotho that brought together country organisations including civil society organisations, networks of people living with HIV, representatives of key populations, and international organisations to agree on the way forward to achieving global HIV prevention goals 2020.
The roadmap target-setting guidance was drawn from the UNAIDS and localised to suit the context of Lesotho and strives to accelerate HIV prevention to reduce new infections by 75 percent per the exceptional international and national efforts needed to intensify HIV prevention to meet commitments to end the AIDS epidemic in Lesotho.
It became evident during the presentations of the HIV Roadmap 2020 launch that while Lesotho has made significant progress on treatment coverage in the past five years, progress on primary prevention has however been the weakest in the national response. The results from the Lesotho Population-based HIV Impact Assessment 2017 (LEPHIA) however show that Lesotho has made substantial progress towards the global 90-90-90 by 2020 targets at 77-90-88 respectively. The National Prevention Roadmap 2020 thus serves as a joint guiding tool for national scale up of HIV prevention initiatives outlining 10 action points envisaged for implementing to ensure a common vision of reaching the targets on HIV prevention are reached.
Officiating the launch on behalf of the Minister of Health, the Ministry’s Principal Secretary (PS) Mr Monaphathi Maraka translated the strategy into being innovative to reach out to men since studies indicate women get tested and are linked to treatment as most are immunosuppressant. He said the same findings reveal women’s adherence to treatment to giving birth to HIV negative children whilst men do not come anywhere near hence the need to encourage them to attend health services.
Mr Maraka emphasised the need for Ministry of Health and its partners to roll out services focused on supporting men to bridge the gap. He expressed the determination to close the gap between his Ministry and the NAC because relations and collaboration are important and should be intentional in applying the monitoring and evaluation. He however lamented that the Ministry is among others that have allegedly collapsed due to a lack of men and women determined to lead the IV and AIDS infection reduction.