Battle against Aids continues


ON December 1 Lesotho joined the rest of the world in commemorating World Aids Day.
The numbers we get every year indicate that unless we redouble our efforts to fight the disease our future looks bleak.
Lesotho’s HIV prevalence rate at 23.3 percent is the third highest in the world, behind only Botswana and Swaziland.
Every year nearly 20 000 people, especially the economically active, succumb to the disease leaving Lesotho a poorer country in terms of human capacity.
The burden imposed on Lesotho, classified as one of the poorest countries in the world, by HIV is getting heavier by day.
Statistics show that there are nearly 180 000 orphans in Lesotho and the numbers keep growing.
There are 64 new infections every day.
Our health system, which is already frail, can barely cope.
But it would be unfair to say we haven’t made some noticeable progress in this war.
Indeed, we have been fighting back and winning some battles.
Thanks to generous assistance from outsiders, we have made significant progress against the disease.
There are more people on treatment, more people are getting tested and transmission from mother-to-child has come down.
Even the prevalence rate is coming down, albeit slowly.
The government’s own efforts and those of the donor community have made it possible for Lesotho to continue feeding and educating many of the orphans.
Yet that does not mean we should rest on our laurels. More still needs to be done and the challenges keep mounting.
Money is one of those challenges.
Our resources are so few yet the problems are innumerable.
The outside help we have taken for granted over the years is no longer guaranteed.
UNAids, an aid agency, says due to the global economic crisis international assistance to poor countries fell 10 percent last year.
The omens don’t look good because it looks like the global economic situation will get worse before it gets better.
Lesotho must brace itself for more cuts in funding as the rich countries institute austerity measures to save their own economies and assist their own people.
The question then is what can Lesotho do to conserve the gains it made when things were normal?
Perhaps the answer lies in this year’s global theme for World Aids Day which says “Zero new HIV infections, zero discrimination and zero Aids-related deaths”.
That theme summarises what we should do as a country to win the war against HIV and Aids.
It provides a road-map of some sort on how we can have an HIV free generation.
To have “zero new HIV infections” we must intensify our efforts to educate people about the importance of abstinence, safe sex and being faithful to one uninfected partner.
To eradicate discrimination against those living with HIV and Aids we need to educate people that Aids is not a “sin disease”.
Discrimination against those who are HIV positive will only end when society understands that anyone regardless of race, social status, profession, ethnicity or religion can get infected and affected.
We need to constantly remind the people that HIV is not a death sentence as it was perceived to be years ago when the world did not know better and life-prolonging drugs were not available.
The mission to have “zero Aids-related-deaths” will only be achieved if we encourage more people to get tested early and put more on medication early.
That way we reduce new infections while saving the lives of those already infected.
In all this we must remember to be prudent with the limited resources we have.
We must learn to account for every cent we have, whether it has come from the national purse or donors.
We note with concern that Aids has become an industry on its own or a platform for some unscrupulous people to enrich themselves.
We also note that there are some people who think they can steal in the name of this national disaster.
We have heard of cases of people spiriting away donor funds meant for people infected and affected by HIV.
We can only say this behaviour is abhorrent and should be punished.


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  1. Ao! Lesotho naha ea sechaba se bolileng ka ho fetisisa lefats’eng. Naheng ena ba nang le matla ba utsoa lichelete tsa sechaba kahohle kamoo ba ratang kateng, baa ithuisa ba bile ba tekatsa le ka eona. Ho tlake ho be betere ha America e tlilo khama mokotla tjena. Hee! re tennoe ke banna le basali ba sebetsang mafapheng a bo Global fund for AIDS. Ba ithuisitse ka lichelete tsa AIDS, ahile matlo a li-double storey, ba matha ka likoloi tsa li-range rovers, BMW, Mercedez tse phahameng tsena ke ho utosa limillion tsa maloti tsa matlole ana, haele sechaba sona sea shoa ke AIDS haba fumane molemo oa letho donationing tsena. Ebile ho betere hore US e hle e hule liphallelo tseno kaofela hobane basotho ba ntse ba eshoa ka lebaka la libolu tsena tseo ho itsoeng li manage those funds, fela lisatane tsena li fepa tsona le malapa a tsona a bolileng. Hee re tennoe ke basotho ba eteletseng likhafa tsa rona pele mona naheng ena hle! Lisatane tsa tsoha li shoele. Bobolu bo bongata hakana Lesotho hobane basebetsi ba tlase ba bona bobolu bona ka batho ba litulong tse holimo. Phooooooaaaaaa! motho e mots’o ka moriri o sekiripoto o bonts’ang ho hloka kelello feela!!!!

  2. Gregory Boyle, PhD, DSc on

    Flawed African Studies into Male Circumcision and Sexual Transmission of HIV

    Gregory Boyle, PhD, DSc

    Ref: Boyle GJ, Hill G. Sub-Saharan African randomised clinical trials into male circumcision and HIV transmission: Methodological, ethical and legal concerns. J Law Med 2011;19:316-334.

    The Journal of Law and Medicine, has published a new critique of those three randomized clinical trials from Africa that have purported to find that male circumcision reduces female-to-male sexual transmission of HIV by 60 percent.
    This critique finds numerous flaws in the execution of these studies and finds that the actual reduction in HIV transmission is about 1.3 percent, not the claimed 60 percent. The 1.3 percent is not considered to be clinically significant.

    This is offset by a 61 percent relative increase in male-to-female HIV transmission when the male partner is circumcised.

    Given this, the three RCTs should not be used in the formulation of public health policy.

    See attached Pdf: