Lesotho has the third highest HIV prevalence rates globally. The adult HIV prevalence (ages 15-49) was estimated at 23.6% in 2009. HIV prevalence (ages 15-49) is higher in urban areas (27.2%) than rural areas (21.1%), and females are more likely to be HIV positive than males (27% vs. 18%) as of 2009. HIV prevalence among pregnant women was 23% in 2009. Between 2009 and 2011, Lesotho has seen a 21% decline in the number of new pediatric HIV infections – from 4,700 to 3,700.
In spite of the hyperendemic generalized epidemic, Lesotho’s commitment to attaining universal access to HIV prevention, treatment, and care services is beginning to show results. HIV testing coverage among pregnant women increased from 9% in 2005 to 57% in 2010. Testing coverage among HIV-exposed infants increased from 33% in 2009 to 78% in 2010.
Lesotho has been identified as a priority country for the OHA Acceleration Fund plan that works to further partnerships for HIV Free Survival (PHFS) and the integration of NACS as part of the elimination of transmission of HIV from mother to child. With the elimination of infant HIV infections being identified as a priority for Lesotho, the integration of elements of the NACS approach within maternal and child health services has the potential to contribute to reducing postnatal transmission of HIV and to improve maternal and infant survival.
Read more about the project’s activities in Lesotho on our resource page.