There is a direct link between climate change and public health in Lesotho, according to findings from the Lesotho Population-Based HIV Impact Assessment (LePHIA). Data show that women and adolescent girls exposed to severe drought conditions in rural Lesotho were more likely to engage in high-risk behaviors, including sex work, and were more likely to drop out of school.
“This is the first paper to link climate shock to an HIV epidemic since antiretroviral drugs became more widely available in sub-Saharan Africa,” said Dr. Jessica Justman, senior technical director of ICAP at Columbia University and principal investigator of the PHIA Project. “We should view this as another kind of warning that climate change will affect us in unexpected and unwelcome ways.”
View the findings published in PLOS Medicine.