Page last updated at 13:43 GMT, Tuesday, 5 May 2009 14:43 UK

Lesotho Aids diary: Chief

The BBC, in conjunction with Medecins Sans Frontieres, has been following the lives of seven people from the community of St Rodrigue, in Lesotho, as they struggle to live with and work through the country's HIV/Aids crisis. This is the final instalment.

Relebone Sonopo | Chief | St Rodrigue

Chief Relebone Sonopo

We have had several burials since last time we met.

For instance, these two graves here belong to two brothers.

They came back from town last month and they didn't even last a week.

They were sick, they complained of chest pains and headaches.

Many young people return home to die

We don't know if it was the sickness (Aids) but I do suspect they came home to die.

Many young people return home to die.

They leave the villages to find work, but they don't find work.

They come home very stressed and maybe that contributes to the illnesses. They come back very sick.

I don't know what to say any more, except that everything is in God's hands.

No answer

There is nothing one can do about this, except to encourage people to stay here and work in the fields.

Unfortunately I can't stop people from going to the city and looking for a job.

As the chief, I am the one who has to sign the letters when they leave that certifies that they are from this village.

People who come back from the cities to die also sometimes infect the people living here.

Chief Relebone Sonopo
Chief Relebone encourages young people to stay and work the fields

I think that prostitution in town also contributes to the spread of the disease.

The young women go to town to look for work and that's what they find.

I hear that even young men prostitute themselves. There is no hope.

Because of the prostitution, the disease is only spreading.

The work that the clinic is doing here has made a big difference.

People getting treatment and eating healthy is helping.

There have been fewer deaths among the people living here in the villages.

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