National AIDS Commission (NAC) aims to host the first multi-sectoral two days national HIV and AIDS symposium on December 13 and 14 this year at ‘Manthabiseng Conventional Center in Maseru.
According to NAC Information Officer Mzondase Tsepane, the symposium aims to deliberate on the causes and effects of inequalities in HIV Response and how these can be addressed.
The deliberations in this endevour would yield commitments to enhance National HIV and AIDS Response by government authorities, UN agencies, Development Partners, Implementing Partners, Civil Society Organizations, and other stakeholders.
“This is a response to a call for action by His Majesty King Letsie III during the World AIDS Day 2022 commemoration, and in line with the theme, “Let’s equalize HIV and AIDS Services for All. Leave no one behind,” narrated Tsepane.
“HIV and AIDS have posed a significant threat to the health of Basotho since the first reported case in 1986. Lesotho quickly became one of the countries most affected by the virus and has the second-highest HIV prevalence in the World after Eswatini’, LePHIA (2020).
“His Majesty King Letsie III declared HIV and AIDS a national emergency in 2003. Since then, the government, with the technical and financial support of our development”.
The Global AIDS Report (2022) highlights that HIV Response is in danger as over the past two years it has been competing with other pandemics such as COVID-19.
“Four decades into the HIV response, inequalities persist and in some cases are widening for the most basic services like testing, treatment, condoms, and even more so for new technologies”, the information officer concluded.
The 2022 World AIDS Day global theme, “EQUALIZE”, is a call to action for countries to identify and employ measures to address inequalities.