MPhil study projects

The successes and failures of PrEP: The perspective of sero-discordant couples at a Lesotho Defence Force base

Student: Ts’epo Mako
Country: Lesotho

The study examined the effectiveness of a PrEP programme for sero-discordant couples at a Lesotho Defence Force base. PrEP was a relatively new concept in Lesotho, where the treatment was only launched in 2016.

Conducted through surveys, 32 out of 33 questionnaires were returned from the HIV-negative partners of discordant couples. Most respondents were female (56%). Findings indicated high satisfaction with and knowledge of PrEP services, suggesting the programme could be used as a benchmark for similar initiatives. Successful PrEP usage correlated with faithful relationships and consistent condom use.

Stigma emerged as a barrier to uptake, suggesting the need for stigma reduction programmes. Known barriers like drug resistance and side effects did not significantly deter PrEP uptake. Additional studies are warranted to identify other potential barriers.

The study recommends acknowledging and encouraging dedicated staff, while emphasising the necessity for further education regarding the regimen’s function and maintenance of HIV-negative status to empower PrEP users.