HIV/AIDS has the "potential to wipe out" Lesotho because of its impact on the country's population and economy, Keketso Sefeane, chief executive of the National AIDS Commission, said at a workshop on Monday, Xinhua News Agency reports. According to Sefeane, the disease's impact on Lesotho's work force, including the loss of skills and experience, decreases economic productivity and hinders the sustainable delivery of goods and services to the country's population. "Absence, illness, deaths and early retirements due to HIV and AIDS have profound implications for economic development and social welfare," Sefeane said.
Representatives from Lesotho's ministries of defense, trade, public service, finance, cabinet and health attended the five-day workshop. Attendees were scheduled to create prevention programs, as well as care and support initiatives, to alleviate the impact of HIV/AIDS-related staff losses in the public sector. According to Sefeane, Lesotho's entire population should become involved in the fight against HIV/AIDS because the disease threatens the livelihoods of millions of workers and their dependents. About one in four adults in Lesotho is living with HIV, according to 2006 statistics from the United Nations (Xinhua News Agency, 8/20).
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