Health department to release overdue HIV report

2011-11-28 14:43

An overdue report on nationwide HIV prevalence rates would be released tomorrow, the health ministry said.

The report would be made public at the health department’s Pretoria office at 10am, spokesperson Fidel Hadebe said today.

He said the National Antenatal Sentinel HIV and Syphilis Prevalence Report needed to be reviewed by many other people outside of the department.

“We would rather have the report out late and ensure it is a quality report.”

The DA said earlier it would submit an application in terms of the Promotion of Access to Information Act if the report was not released within 10 days.

The department was obliged to release a report of nationwide HIV prevalence rates every year.

So far, the annual release of the report was late every year, DA spokesperson Mike Waters said in a statement.

The report was due for release in March, and it was now eight months overdue. Last year’s report had been seven months late, Waters said.

“(The late release) renders the data it contains less reliable and therefore hampers the development of policy initiatives to combat the spread of HIV/Aids.”

The survey was the only comprehensive review of prevalence rates among pregnant women across the country and contained important statistics and trends relating to South Africa’s HIV/Aids prevalence.

Last year’s report showed the HIV prevalence rate among women aged between 16 and 35 was 21.7%.

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