EQUIP Lesotho provides rapid Test & Start roll-out support particularly focused on reaching men and pre-ART tracking and tracing. With Anova Health Institute – an EQUIP consortium partner – leading international experts in key population services for MSM and PrEP, an assessment was conducted to establish comprehensive men’s clinics in Lesotho. Implementation lead partner Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation (EGPAF) formed part of the assessment team and findings reported to the USAID mission indicated the strong need for these clinics given the high male migrancy work population. This key population was accelerated into care through Test & Start, and strengthened linkage systems were developed. A social media education and awareness program was embarked on with Viral Load monitoring support provided to enhance the care and treatment of all patients.
In January 2017 EQUIP commenced with a migrant population demonstration project centred around multi-month scripting and dispensing. The programme has since rapidly accelerated.
Lesotho suffers from high infant mortality rates and levels of malnutrition, in addition to having a high prevalence of tuberculosis and an HIV/AIDS prevalence of 23.4 percent (UNAIDS 2014). Decreased revenues from the Southern Africa Custom’s Union, due to the recent global economic downturn, have resulted in severe budget constraints for the government.