HIV Testing & Counseling
PSI/Lesotho’s network of New Start ® HTC Centres currently includes both fixed sites and mobile units. Beginning in 2012, PSI plans to increase mobile outreach and support door-to-door HTC to better complement the government’s existing HTC activities and more effectively serving vulnerable groups who are unlikely to access fixed site services. PSI-supported HTC sites provided counseling and testing to more than 250,000 Basotho since 2005.
In addition to direct service provision, PSI/Lesotho is a national leader in training for HTC, providing pre- and in-service training and quality assurance to a wide variety of Government and non-Governmental partners. Additionally, New Start ® centers regularly host students attending the National University of Lesotho for professional attachments in counseling. As in all program areas, PSI complements service activities with both branded and generic behavior change communication. PSI/Lesotho’s acclaimed “Test for Your Team” soccer tournaments have been held at the District level throughout the Kingdom and was a tremendous success resulting in a significant increase in use of HTC services among men.
Condom Social Marketing
PSI/Lesotho’s condom social marketing activities include commercial sales of three brands of male condoms (Trust, Trust Studded, & Lovers Plus Colored and Flavored) as well as the distribution of free-issue condoms to ensure access and availability. More than 40 million condoms have been sold and distributed since PSI/Lesotho began programming in 2001.
Commercial sales of condoms are realized through an extensive network of wholesale marketers, retail outlets, and private businesses, harnessing the power of the market to drive demand and sales. PSI compliments sales by assisting the Government of Lesotho through an aggressive system of free condom distribution through workplaces, health centers, and community-based organizations.
PSI/Lesotho’s sales and distribution activities are complemented by state of the art social marketing and a wide range of behavior change communication, including multi-channel media campaigns, a regular schedule of community mobilization events, and targeted interpersonal communication provided by PSI’s team of full-time Field Educators.
PSI/Lesotho also receives US government-donated female condoms (FC) every year, which are distributed through PSI testing and counseling centers, public and private universities, ALAFA participating factories and other private sector partners. An expanded FC pilot known as “Silk-ee” comprising enhanced free distribution of a new branded FC product was launched in February 2011 and is scheduled for a commercial launch in 2012.
“Comprehensive HIV Prevention” is the military maneuver being supported by PSI with the Lesotho Defense Forces (LDF). Launched in 2007, PSI/Lesotho’s innovative collaboration with the LDF utilizes behavioral research; tailored condom promotion and distribution; peer education; and HTC capacity building and services to help men and women in uniform protect themselves against HIV/AIDS.