Maseru – Tsitso Mokale drives down Moshoeshoe Road in his black taxi with a yellow stripe, scanning the pavement for potential passengers.
The taxi driver in Lesotho’s capital, Maseru, is on a mission not just to find new customers, but to start a conversation about the benefits of male circumcision and HIV prevention.
It is a daunting task in a country with the second-highest HIV prevalence rate in the world and where social norms and cultural restraints often prevent men from accessing health services.
“It’s sometimes difficult to talk to the older [male passengers],” Tsitso says. “Some of them say they are afraid.”
But for Mokale and more than 200 other taxi drivers across the city who are part of a programme aimed at HIV prevention, educating passengers about male circumcision has real benefits.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), voluntary medical male circumcision (VMMC) can reduce the risk of female-male HIV infection by 60 percent.