Global Strategic Plan 2021- 2026 is the new approach to use an inequalities lens to close gaps that are preventing progress towards ending AIDS.
This, the UNIADS Country Director, Ms. Pepukai Chikukwa said during the stakeholder validation meeting towards the finalisation of the National Multi-sectoral HIV Strategic Plan (NHSP) 2023-2028 held in Maseru on Thursday.
Ms. Chikukwa said NHSP lays a foundation for attaining the commitment to end the AIDS epidemic, providing strategic guidance to address the stigma and health inequalities that key populations living with HIV are faced with.
She said the goals for NHSP are to reduce new HIV infections by 50 percent, increase access to care and optimise health outcomes for people living with HIV and reduce HIV-related disparities as well as health inequalities.
On the same note, National AIDS Commission Chief Executive Officer, Ms. Lebohong Mothae said the goals for Lesotho National HIV/AIDS Strategic Plan 2018/19 -2022/ 23 to be achieved by 2023 are to reduce new infection by 50 percent from 13, 300 in 2017, reduce AIDS-related deaths from 50 percent from 4,900 in 2017 and also reduce mother-to-child transmission of HIV from 11.3 percent to less than 5 percent in 2023.
Ms. Mothae said the National HIV/AIDS Strategic Plan results show that 95 percent of people aged 15 years and above are at risk of HIV and have accessed a combination of HIV prevention, adding that mother-to-child transmission has been eliminated and 95 percent of children living with HIV are on treatment.
Moreover, she said the results show that at least 40 percent of HIV/TB response is community-led and sustainable.
Ms. Mothae said the global target basis for NHASP 2018 -2023 target is 90 90 90, meaning 90 percent of people are aware of their HIV status, 90 percent on treatment and 90 percent virally suppressed, saying Lesotho towards the global target is 90 97 92 showing that 90 percent of Basotho are aware of their status, 97 percent are on their treatment for HIV and 92 percent is virally suppressed.
Meanwhile, the Consultant, Mr. Relebohile Tshehlo said they want to make sure that NHSP talks about the issues approach which is led by the community, saying the vision of NHSP is to end the HIV pandemic and enhance health outcomes free from discrimination and stigma for people living HIV.
The agenda of the meeting amongst others was to share the background and outline the NHSP development process as well as to verify alignment with and responsiveness to the national HIV situation.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Government of Lesotho.