Over a decade ago, the world was facing an AIDS pandemic and Africa was the epicenter. Nearly 30 million people had the AIDS virus, including 3 million children and over 8,000 people were dying every day. Since 2006, the U.S. government, through the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), has committed more than $630 million to the bilateral HIV response in Lesotho. PEPFAR remains committed to supporting health system strengthening and governance– particularly in laboratory services, strategic information, human resources, and supply chain management. Beginning in 2020, the U.S. government leveraged the strong bilateral health partnership to bolster Lesotho’s COVID-19 response efforts.
The Government of Lesotho has demonstrated substantial political will to fight HIV/AIDS and has undertaken many efforts to address the epidemic. In April 2016, Lesotho became the first country in Africa to launch “Test and Treat,” ensuring that all those who test HIV positive are immediately eligible to begin treatment. Lesotho has made great strides under PEPFAR and achieved UNAIDS 90-90-90 definition of epidemic control by 2020. Under this goal, 90% of people are tested and know their status, 90% of those who know their HIV status are on medication, and 90% of those on medication are virally suppressed.