There is an inseparable link between the transmission and prevention of HIV and gender inequity. Gender equity and HIV/AIDS education and testing are key foci embedded in all Help Lesotho programming. Issues of early marriage, power inequity, sexual violence, safe sex, and communication are dealt with squarely in all programs for all ages.
Education is the key to prevention for those who are HIV negative and health for those who are HIV positive. Knowing your status is the first step. Help Lesotho provides health education to various populations on an on-going basis covering basic HIV/AIDS, sanitation, transmission issues surrounding caring for HIV infected individuals, local resources, nutrition and its effect on health, testing and treatment issues, mother-to-child transmission, the impact of nutrition on absorption of anti-retroviral drugs and local resources.
- Youth Empowerment in Schools (YES) Clubs
YES Clubs are an important component of Help Lesotho’s school-based outreach. The clubs are open to all students in the schools and function in the same manner as other clubs to avoid stigmatization. They discuss issues openly and thoughtfully. Understanding about HIV is about equipping youth with the tools to assess their own personal risk factors and speak out about emotional impact. The Anti-AIDS Clubs provide such a forum.
Although challenging, Help Lesotho endeavours to provide listening, caring and psychosocial support to all its populations to deal with grief and loss, fear and stigmatization around HIV/AIDS, poverty-related issues, sexual violence and isolation.