MASERU — Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili says it was embarrassing that Basotho seem to be a nation of adulterers.
Speaking at a World Aids Day commemoration in Maseru on Thursday, Mosisili said the alarming rate of new HIV infections countrywide was a clear sign of rampant fornication.
“Really, this is embarrassing and we are seen by the world as an adulterous nation,” Mosisili said.
He appealed to churches to consider encouraging the use of condoms among youths, irrespective of the Christian teaching that premarital sex is a sin.
“Priests should consider encouraging the use of condoms. That would not mean that we are cheering bad behaviour,” Mosisili said.
“Everybody knows that our children are sexually active, no matter how hard we are trying to discourage it.”
Most churches in Lesotho are viscerally opposed to the use of the condom arguing that its use promotes promiscuity and premarital sex among the youth.
But Mosisili said the fact that there are more reports of teenage pregnancy and new HIV infections shows that the youths are practising unsafe sex.
“Our children engage in sexual intercourse. Our number one message is abstinence. But the alarming numbers of young girls who get pregnant prove that we need to encourage the use of condoms,” he said.
United Nations agencies say at least 62 new HIV infections are reported in Lesotho every day.
Lesotho has a 23.3 percent prevalence rate for HIV, the third highest in the world after Botswana and Swaziland.
Speaking at the same occasion King Letsie III said people are reluctant to change behaviour that puts them at risk of contracting HIV and Aids.
“It’s been ages now since we asked people to stop risky behaviour but unfortunately there seems to be no change because there are more new infections,” King Letsie said.