The Government of Botswana

With the highest reported HIV/AIDS rate in the world, Botswana is experiencing the most devastating pandemic to hit Sothern Africa in recent memory. An estimated 260 000 adult Batswana in a population of 1,6 million are now living with HIV/AIDS. Without affordable and accessible treatment, most of them will develop AIDS and die within a decade.

We need the support of the global community to ensure our survival. To this end, cultivating public/private partnerships is a priority on Botswana’s HIV/AIDS agenda. ACHAP is an integral part of Botswana’s comprehensive approach to the HIV epidemic.

As a nation, we have a relief on financial discipline, prudent economic management and frugality to prosper. These are irrelevant as far as HIV/AIDS is reversing the many gains we have made in social and economic development.

Since the first AIDS case was reported in our country some 16 years ago, the human toll has been staggering AIDS is a tragedy experienced by almost every family and community as well as the nation at large.

One is either infected or affected. I have lost relatives. When you have yet not lost a child, you just consider yourself lucky. We are committed to behavioural change as the key to overcome this disease. We need however, to implement care and treatment alongside our prevention drive to look after those people already leaving with HIV/AIDS - and to ensure their continued contribution to family life in Botswana and the ongoing economic growth of the nation.

This is the area in which the support of partners like ACHAP is crucial - only with their help are we able to provide the anti-retroviral treatment and care programmes needed to support the sick. On behalf of all Batswana, I wish to express our heartfelt thanks to ACHAP for stepping forward and helping us to fight and overcome the HIV/AIDS epidemic.