The Swiss TPH initiated ‘Towards 90-90-90’ research consortium involves units of the Ministry of Health of Lesotho, the District Health Management Team of Butha-Buthe, the Swiss not-for-profit organization SolidarMed, and the Molecular Virology Group of the Department of Biomedicine of the University of Basel. In Butha-Buthe district, the main implementation partners are the District Health Management Team of Butha-Buthe and SolidarMed (www.solidarmed.ch).
The ‘Towards 90-90-90’ consortium initiates and conducts development and research projects along the lines of the UNAIDS 90-90-90 targets for 2020, which try to achieve the following:
- 90% of individuals know their HIV status
- 90% of HIV infected individuals receive life-saving treatment
- 90% of those who receive treatment achieve viral suppression (no free virus detectable in their blood)
In Lesotho, one out of four people are infected with HIV
Lesotho, a small, impoverished and landlocked country surrounded by South Africa has, with 25% of the adult population, the second-highest HIV rate in the world. The ‘Towards 90-90-90’ project is based in the Butha-Buthe District of Northern Lesotho. Here the great majority of the approximately 130’000 inhabitants lives in remote villages and depends on subsidence farming or migratory work in neighbouring South Africa.