National AIDS Commission (NAC) symposium, which took place at ‘Manthabiseng Convention Center Maseru on December 13 and 14, 2022 revealed that education, awareness, advocacy and sensitization could contribute to HIV prevention efforts.
The deliberations from thematic dialogues on the effects of inequalities on various population groups came up with recommendations for NAC and the government.
The thematic population groups included adolescent girls and young women, adolescent boys and young men, key populations, condom programming and ART-Based prevention.
Key population group believed that the dissemination of information and sex education in schools is mandatory for HIV infection prevention.
Condom education should start in schools and different church denominations; it should not be considered taboo.
Most of our population knows nothing about the efficient use of condoms.
Therefore, the Ministry of Education and Training and faith-based organizations have to come on board in fighting against HIV and AIDS.
Medical Director AHF Dr. Patrick Kanyema emphasized, “We cannot achieve zero new infections if condom use information is not disseminated to the people. Awareness promotion also plays a vital role”.
Dr. Kanyema indicated that condoms should be distributed to faith-Based organizations facilities.
However, the challenges or gaps identified included that faith-based organizations do not tolerate the use of condoms while the country is fighting to have zero new HIV infections.
“Condom programming exists in Lesotho, but needs to be strengthened. Condom accessibility and prevention programme are key”, stated Medical Director.
Dr. Kanyema showed that stakeholders and the implementing partners would follow suit in order to achieve this objective.
“We should have tools and monitoring and evaluation mechanisms. For example, we should know how many condoms were received at the country level and how many were distributed to society”, stressed Dr. Kanyema.