Journal Article

Addressing gender inequity in HIV care in rural Lesotho: the ‘Male Initiative’

Nicholas Lesia, Ann C. Miller, Jonas Rigodon, J. Keith Joseph and Jennifer Furin

in International Health

Published on behalf of Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene

Volume 5, issue 1, pages 72-77
Published in print March 2013 | ISSN: 1876-3413
Published online December 2012 | e-ISSN: 1876-3405 | DOI:
Addressing gender inequity in HIV care in rural Lesotho: the ‘Male Initiative’

More Like This

Show all results sharing this subject:

  • Community Medical Services


Show Summary Details



Lesotho is a nation in Southern Africa with an HIV prevalence of 25%. Males are less likely to access HIV services and there is a need for strategies to improve male participation in HIV care. This paper describes the development and implementation of the Male Initiative to increase male participation in HIV services.


A combination of qualitative and quantitative methods were used to describe the components, process, organization, participation and potential impact of the Male Initiative.


The Male Initiative was developed in partnership with local village chiefs, traditional healers and spiritual leaders. It used the traditional male meeting structure known as the Pitso-ea-banna to deliver messages about HIV care. 1311 men participated in five Male Initiative meetings over a 30 month period from June 2006-31 December, 2008. Male enrollment increased from 32% in 2006 to 36.8% in 2008, a trend which approached statistical significance (p = 0.07) and suggests potential programmatic impact that merits further study.


Gender inequalities in enrollment in HIV care can be addressed through programs developed in partnership with local leaders and delivered in culturally accepted settings.

Keywords: HIV; Lesotho; Male

Journal Article.  4220 words. 

Subjects: Community Medical Services

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.