HIV: The good news and the bad news

2013-07-21 14:00

Zinhle Mapumulo unpacks the National HIV Household Survey

Here’s the good news about HIV in South Africa: When it comes to rolling out treatment, we’re doing a great job.

The number of people taking antiretroviral drugs has more than doubled in the past four years.

Life expectancy has increased and the rate of mother-to-child transmission has decreased from 9.6% in 2008 to 2.7% in 2012.

But there’s bad news too in the National HIV Household Survey, which was presented at the sixth SA Aids Conference in Durban last month.

This survey, conducted every three years by the Human Sciences Research Council, is used by government to measure trends and changes in South Africa’s HIV epidemic.

It not only looks at people’s status, but tracks important information about sociodemographic and behavioural factors that are driving infection rates.

In the latest survey, 37?021 people were interviewed and, of those, 28?089 were tested.

A full report, which will include the participants’ HIV test results, will be available later this year.

This will answer more questions about how the HIV pandemic is spreading across South Africa.

To the right are the key emerging trends researchers have identified from the household survey so far.

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