Lesotho HIV

HIV was first reported in Lesotho in 1986 and within seven years rose to around 4% of the population before an explosion of the virus whereby it is now estimated that a quarter of all adults having HIV with 50% of all women infected. Lesotho has the third highest prevalence of HIV/AIDS anywhere in the world and in 2009 alone 12,000 people died from AIDS out of a population of some 2,000,000.

Lesotho HIVChildren in Lesotho, of whom 30% are already orphans and 12,000 infected themselves, literally see doctors, teachers and other workers dying around them with no workforce to replace them and a dwindling number of adult carers. Its as though the entire kingdom is being extinguished. Indeed in 2007 the chief executive of the National AIDS Commission in Lesotho reported that HIV/AIDS has the potential to "wipe out" the country. The situation, however, is being taken seriously with HIV being declared a national disaster, however lack of capital and political instability has undermined the government's HIV strategy which is to reverse the epidemic by the promotion of using condoms, programs focussing on the prevention of mother-to-child transmission and an extensive antiretroviral treatment program for all those who need it.

HIV in LesothoCultural norms, however, somewhat mitigate against this with 30% of all boys in Lesotho reporting that they have had sex before the age of 15yrs compared with 6% in developed countries and such sex is often with older, unprotected partners and such activity is on the rise. It's of concern that despite interventions, only 29% of 15-24 year old males and 39% of 15-24 year old females can actually identify ways of stopping the transmission of HIV through intercourse.

This short video documentary charts the work being undertaken in Lesotho to manage what is unfolding as a national tragedy at an alarming rate. The following chart provides some indicators for HIV in Lesotho.


Lesotho HIV

Lesotho HIV

Lesotho HIV

Lesotho HIV


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Lesotho HIV
Indicator 2005 2011
% of babies born with HIV with mothers who are HIV 10% 10%
% of young people 15-24% who can identify correct methods of preventing spread of HIV through sexual transmission Male 18% Female 26% Male 29% Female 39%
% of 15-49yr olds with more than one sexual partner in last year 14.15% 35.45%
% of above using a condom 49% 44%

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