HIV/AIDS related discrimination among females aged 15-24 in Lesotho
In many developing countries, stigma and discrimination together pose most significant challenges towards stemming the spread of HIV/ AIDS. Although Lesotho has one of the highest HIV/AIDS prevalence in the world, there is little or no research about how people living with HIV/AIDS or are suspected of living with HIV/ AIDS are perceived and treated. The paper utilised data from the Lesotho 2000 End Decade Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey and the 2004 Lesotho Demographic and Health Survey to address the three fold primary objective of the paper. The paper first compared attitudes of females aged 15-24 towards people who are HIV positive or are suspected of being HIV positive between 2000 and 2004. Secondly it assessed whether knowledge about transmission of and protection against HIV/AIDS has improved overtime. Lastly it examined the factors that are associated with HIV/AIDS-related discrimination. Using both descriptive and multivariate logistic regression to analyse the data, the findings of the paper indicate that HIV/AIDS-related discrimination declined by 12 percent overtime, knowledge about means of transmission of and protection against HIV/AIDS increased by 20 percent, while knowledge of means of transmission and protection against HIV/AIDS translated into reduced levels of HIV/AIDSrelated discrimination. Multivariate analysis confirmed that HIV/AIDS-related discrimination had declined between 2000 and 2004 while education was identified as one of the most important factors associated with HIV/ AIDS-related discrimination. The conclusion of the paper is that efforts to educate the public about HIV/AIDS are transforming the attitudes of the general population towards people who are HIV positive or are suspected of being HIV positive.