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UNICEF: Reversing the Spread of HIV/AIDS in Lesotho
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UNICEF: Reversing the Spread of HIV/AIDS in Lesotho
Lesotho has made significant progress in preventing mother-to-child transmission of HIV, thanks to the nationwide "Know Your Status" campaign and a renewed national strategic plan on HIV and AIDS.
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Produced by UNICEF Television.

Find out more about UNICEF's efforts to prevent transmission of HIV/AIDS in Lesotho.

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Segment 1

VOICEOVER
The kingdom of Lesotho. With nearly a quarter of its adult population living with HIV, the landlocked nation has one of the highest HIV burdens in the world. Compounded by poverty and food insecurity, the country has nevertheless embarked on a journey to reverse the spread of HIV by making prevention, treatment and care accessible to all.
DR. MPHU RAMATLAPENG [Minister of Health & Social Welfare, Lesotho]
The main achievement of the government of Lesotho was the introduction of the “Know Your Status” campaign. Our other major achievement is the rollout of the prevention of mother-to-child transmission program. The bottom line is we cannot afford to have people infecting other people. We cannot afford to have so many people dying and leaving children behind.
VOICEOVER
Malehloa Pitso found out her HIV status when she was pregnant with her second child. Despite the initial shock and discrimination from others, she followed her treatment regiment rigorously, and gave birth to a healthy baby free of HIV. Malehloa Pitso now works for “Mothers2Mothers,” an NGO that supports HIV positive mothers to live healthy lives and prevents babies from contracting HIV through mother-to-child transmission.
MALEHLOA PITSO
So I’m also helping other mothers to be like me, to have babies like mine. So when you see a positive baby in the facilities, it’s very rare, and it’s like I wasn’t doing anything. I wasn’t doing my job.
VOICEOVER
In 2006, only five percent of HIV positive pregnant women received services for prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV, or PMTCT. Today the coverage is at 42 percent. And Lesotho’s achievement is mirrored not only in other African countries, but throughout the rest of the world. According to a new report released by UNICEF, WHO, and UNAIDS, progress is being made in achieving universal access to HIV prevention, treatment and care, and some of the most impressive ones were noted in sub-Saharan Africa. But the report also reveals gaps such as the difference between the current number of women who have access to antiretroviral drugs for preventing mother-to-child transmission and the estimated number of women who need to be reached to achieve the 80 percent coverage target.
MICHEL SIDIBÉ [Executive Director, UNAIDS]
An AIDS-free generation is the beginning of the end for HIV/AIDS. We cannot continue to have 300,000 babies born every year in Africa with HIV. It’s costly; it is unsustainable for most of the countries in the region.
VOICEOVER
With 33 million people living with HIV, the epidemic continues to be a major challenge for global health. But the progress in Lesotho and elsewhere has given people hope that the world is now closer than ever to virtual elimination of mother-to-child transmission of HIV, and a step closer to realizing an AIDS-free generation. This is Vivian Siu reporting for UNICEF Television. Unite for Children.