Ministry launches HIV Impact assessment

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HIV-AIDS-PhotoLimpho Sello

THE Ministry of Health will today launch an HIV impact assessment programme dubbed Lesotho Population Based HIV Impact Assessment (LePHIA) at Maseru Pitso Ground.

Her Majesty Queen Masenate Mohato Seeiso will officially launch LePHIA in her capacity as the matron of the Ministry of Health in children’s issues.

LePHIA is a door to door survey by the Ministry of Health in collaboration with ICAP, Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and the Ministry of Development Planning through Bureau of Statistics.

The survey will provide HIV and health services to 10 500 households that will be randomly selected.

LePHIA is part of a wider PHIA project where household based population surveys will be conducted in 15 countries to collect information related to HIV.

Minister of Health Dr Molotsi Monyamane this week told the media that the survey was aimed at examining the distribution of HIV disease in Lesotho in order to assess the coverage and impact of HIV services at population level and to measure HIV related behaviour using a nationally representative sample of adults and children.

“Some of the objectives are to estimate the HIV prevalence, HIV Incidence that is the prevalence of recent HIV infection and prevalence of suppressed HIV Viral Load (VL) in a nationally representative sample of adults aged 15 to 59,” Dr Monyamane said.

He said the survey was also aimed at estimating “behavioral and demographic determinants of HIV incidence and prevalence in adults and to estimate uptake of HIV related services and exposure to HIV interventions, distribution of CD4 T-cell counts among HIV positive and prevalence of transmitted ARV drug resistance among adults and children 0 to 14 years.”

Dr Monyamane said while participants would not be forcibly tested as Lesotho was a democratic country that respected people’s rights, they had to take responsibility and control of their lives by doing what was right.

He appealed to the public to allow the counselors and nurses into their homes and cooperate with them for the smooth running of the project.

The Ministry of Health Director of Disease Control Dr Moselinyane Letsie said the survey would be conducted over a seven month period and end before the next winter to avoid the risks associated with the cold weather in the highlands.

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