09 Nov 08 26 Apr 22

HIV Diaries

Country Year © Author/MSF



In the "Mountain Kingdom" of Lesotho, landlocked by South Africa on all sides, life expectancy is a little over 35. Over 23% of the adult population live with HIV and tuberculosis is rife. Many people live in poverty and many are isolated because of the stigma of HIV/AIDS.

MSF has brought a new hope to communities surrounding Scott Hospital in Morija, where over 2,200 people have now started receiving life-saving ARVs (anti-retroviral treatment) since 2006, when MSF started the project.


As part of MSF's programme, which extends to 14 local communities, lay councilors and nurses, trained by MSF, visit people in the local communities, encourage them to get tested and explain the benefits of the ARVs to them. Many of the counsellors live HIV themselves and the work they do not only educates people and spreads knowledge of HIV and ARVs, but also goes a long way to destroying the stigma that surrounds HIV.

St. Rodrigue is one of these communities where the MSF programme is in full swing and is having a positive effect on the people that live there. As lay councilor Joseph L Ramakoatsi says, "the reason people love me is because I give them hope. They see me walking around, laughing and singing and they realise that it is possible to live with HIV and then they stop worrying so much."

In collaboration with the BBC, the people of the St. Rodrigue community have decided to tell their story and give us an insight into their lives.

Meet the seven individuals who will be writing their diaries for BBC online over the next six months. 

Read Joseph Ramokoatsi diary.

Click here for more Patients' Stories