This is not Thabo Mbeki testing for HIV …

… this is the prime minister of Lesotho, Pakalitha Mosisili, testing publicly for HIV, in January 2004. Lesotho PM Pakalitha Mosisili testing publicly for HIV in 2004. Pic: WHO/JGI Clarke

Lesotho is a tiny, impoverished, mountainous country, entirely landlocked by South Africa. It’s arguably extremely under-developed when compared to its racing leviathan of a neighbour. But it seems that in some respects it’s far more developed than South Africa. Will South Africans have to wait till our HIV prevalence, now around 20%, hits Lesotho’s 30% before our politicians rediscover sense and courage? Or will they remain cowed by our culpably homicidal president?

Not only have Lesotho’s politicians tested publicly, they have also made Lesotho only the second country in the world (first was Brazil) to have introduced Universal Voluntary Counselling and Testing. In other words, they aim to specifically and deliberately give every last soul in Lesotho the opportunity to test for HIV. Yet South Africa, with all its supposed wealth, resources and gee-whizzbang constitution/Bill of Rights, does not do the same.

About David

I am an environmental writer, journalist and speaker living in Cape Town, South Africa.
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