The AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) will be launching its 20×20 global campaign in Lesotho for World AIDS Day 2014. The campaign aims to extend access to antiretroviral therapy (ART) to 20 million people by year 2020.
Prior to World AIDS Day AHF Lesotho and other Civil Society Organisations (CSO) including UNAIDS, PACT Lesotho, Doctors Without Borders and the Lesotho Council of NGOs will meet on 26 November to form the 2014 Stakeholders Consultative Forum. The Forum will allow organisations to present their achievements from the past 5 years, to learn from one another’s challenges and to begin working together to map out a cohesive HIV/AIDS strategy for Lesotho.
“We hope this event will result in a HIV Charter for CSOs which will define the way forward and serve as a declaration of commitment for fighting HIV and endorsing the global 20 x 20 campaign as a potential stepping stone towards the UNAIDS 90 for 2030,” explained AHF Lesotho’s Medical Director, Doctor David Tumuhairwe.
On the World Aids Day, AHF Lesotho will participate in the national program in Thaba Bosiu. The event will also be attended by His Royal Majesty King Letsie III, Government Officials, CSOs and other stakeholders. At the event, AHF Lesotho provide HIV Testing and Counselling (HTC), focusing on people living with disabilities, a traditionally underserved population. “We have partnered with the Lesotho National Federation of Organisations of the Disabled (LNFOD), an organisation that champions the rights of people living with disabilities. Together we hope to use the World AIDS Day to extend HIV service to this constituencies and to set the stage for broader long-term co-operation,” said Tumuhairwe. “AHF Lesotho will be providing transport for LNFOD members, enabling them to both participate in the national event and access HIV testing and counselling.”
AIDS Healthcare Foundation began supporting HIV/AIDS treatment and care in 2013, when it opened the Katlehong LMPS Clinic in Maseru City through a partnership with the Lesotho Mounted Police Service and the country’s Ministry of Health. The clinic also offers comprehensive specialised and general care to HIV-positive clients of all ages, including pre-ART (antiretroviral therapy) care including treatment for opportunistic infections and sexually transmitted diseases; laboratory testing; psychological support; adherence counseling; nutrition assessment, counseling and support; family planning; adolescent sexual and reproductive health; and care for exposed infants. Cutting-edge treatment for HIV/AIDS – including antiretroviral therapy, treatment as prevention for the HIV-positive partner in a sero-discordant relationship, and management of co-infections of tuberculosis and HIV – is offered alongside specialized healthcare for mothers and newborns. Basic primary healthcare needs are also met through this clinic, including immunizations, growth monitoring, de-worming, vitamin and mineral supplementation, and treatment of common infections.