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Lesotho: Strengthening HIV Counseling and Testing (through MCHIP)

Maseru, Lesotho


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  • Projects Training/Technical Assistance (41)


Lesotho has one of the highest HIV prevalence rates in the world, with an estimated 24% of adults infected. However, clinical trials show that male circumcision (MC) reduces female-to-male HIV transmission by approximately 60% and modeling studies demonstrate that MC could prevent up to 5.7 million new HIV infections among men, women and children over the next 20 years.

The Maternal and Child Health Integrated Program (MCHIP) is working to follow the World Health Organization and UNAIDS guidance urging countries with high HIV prevalence and low MC rates to incorporate MC into their HIV prevention programs as part of a comprehensive package that includes abstinence, partner reduction, condom promotion, HIV counseling and testing, and treatment for sexually transmitted infections (STIs). In Lesotho, the Program will support the delivery of safe, high-quality services that link MC with other HIV services. These services include HIV counseling and testing for MC clients and their partners, risk reduction counseling including condom promotion, STI screening and treatment, and broader reproductive health and family planning services for men and couples.

MCHIP efforts are aimed at:

• Increasing client access to safe, facility-based MC services with clinically trained providers; • Increasing informed consent for safe MC services among the target population; and • Fostering sustainability of MC services to ensure long-term increases in MC prevalence.

Lesotho’s HIV prevalence rate underscores the urgent need to effectively prepare nurses in HIV/AIDS care, treatment and support issues. MCHIP is working to strengthen pre-service nursing education to ensure quality development of the health workforce. With a focus on the Christian Health Association of Lesotho training institutions, MCHIP is supporting pre-service institutions to:

• Strengthen their curricula to use competency-based approaches and integrate up-to-date information on HIV/AIDS; • Develop standards against which student competency will be assessed; • Strengthen clinical practicum sites; and • Update lecturer/preceptor and clinical instructor skills in training and HIV/AIDS management.

About MCHIP:

The Maternal and Child Health Integrated Program (MCHIP) is the USAID Bureau for Global Health’s maternal, neonatal and child health (MNCH) program. MCHIP supports global programming in MNCH, immunization, family planning, malaria and HIV/AIDS, and strongly encourages opportunities for integration. Cross-cutting technical areas include water, sanitation, hygiene, urban health and health systems strengthening.

MCHIP brings together a partnership of organizations with demonstrated success in reducing maternal, newborn and child mortality rates and malnutrition. Each partner is taking the lead in developing programs around specific technical areas. Jhpiego is the Prime on MCHIP, leading a coalition of the following partners: JSI, Save the Children, PATH, JHU/IIP, Broad Branch, PSI and Macro International.

For more information about MCHIP, see full MCHIP description on this Web site or visit

About Jhpiego:

For nearly 40 years, Jhpiego, (pronounced "ja-pie-go"), has empowered front-line health workers by designing and implementing simple, low-cost, hands-on solutions that strengthen the delivery of health care services, following the household-to-hospital continuum of care. We partner with community- to national-level organizations to build sustainable, local capacity through advocacy, policy and guidelines development, and quality and performance improvement approaches.

For more information about Jhpiego, visit





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