USAID programs help fight the high rate of HIV infection in Botswana from several angles. We provide technical assistance to the Ministry of Health and civil society organizations in order to improve health services throughout the country, especially for key populations affected by the epidemic. We also work to ensure that crucial supplies such as anti-retroviral medications and HIV test kits are available where they are needed.
A hallmark of USAID’s programs in Botswana is direct community engagement. Although the HIV epidemic is a national problem, it does not affect everyone equally. Recognizing this, many of USAID’s programs in the country provide specialized assistance to particular groups within Botswana. We work to improve HIV prevention services for those with the highest risk of infection. We provide counseling to those infected with HIV and AIDS and help them maintain their complicated medication schedules. USAID also supports those who are not infected with HIV but suffer from its effects, including orphans and vulnerable women and children.
Through the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, USAID is building partnerships to create programs that bring together prevention, care, and treatment. USAID also funds treatment of tuberculosis, which is particularly dangerous for those infected with HIV. In Botswana, over eight thousand people develop TB every year, and it is responsible for over forty percent of deaths in the HIV-positive population.