Maseru – There are about 306 000 people living with HIV throughout the country, as per the preliminary results of the Lesotho Population Based Impact Assessment LePHIA survey.
Speaking at a media briefing in Maseru, the Deputy Prime Minister Honourable Monyane Moleleki said the key findings from LePHIA indicate that among adults aged between 15 and 59, the annual HIV incidence has increased by 1.47 percent, and stands at 25.6 percent, whereas viral load suppression among all HIV positive adults is 67.6 percent.
He said the survey also reveals that Lesotho is making remarkable progress towards achieving the UNAIDS 90-90-90 targets among adults aged between 15 and 59, adding that 90.2 percent of People Living with HIV and AIDS currently use anti-retroviral treatment, and 88.3 percent of them are virally suppressed.
Honourable Moleleki revealed that government’s decisive move to launch the Test and Treat Policy in 2016 is expected to promote further progress in controlling the epidemic by increasing the number of HIV positive people on Antiretroviral Treatment.
Speaking at the same briefing, the United States US Ambassador His Excellency Matthew Harrington said information gathered during LePHIA is invaluable and will be used to influence programming to avert new HIV infections and save lives in Lesotho.
He said the project has been a wonderful partnership between the Ministry of Health, the US government through the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief PEPFAR, ICAP at Columbia University and the Bureau of Statistics.
He applauded the field staff who worked tirelessly to make LePHIA a success, as well as Basotho who donated their valuable time to participate in the survey, adding that the US will continue to commit substantial resources and work with the government, implementing partners and civil society to help Lesotho achieve the UNAIDS 90-90-90- goals.
The LePHIA survey was conducted from November 2016 to May 2017 to measure the reach and impact of the country’s HIV prevention, care and treatment services, and it was conducted in 10 000 households with 15 000 participants.