Aids Focus

Antenatal HIV rate stabilising

2012-10-17 14:38

(File) (Shutterstock)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Special Report

Cape Town - The HIV prevalence rate among women attending antenatal clinics around the country appears to be "stabilising" at about 30%, MPs heard on Wednesday.

Briefing Parliament's health portfolio committee, senior health department official Yogan Pillay said KwaZulu-Natal remained the province with the highest prevalence rate.

"With respect to HIV prevalence... the number seems to be stabilising [at] around 30%. The challenge now is to ensure we interpret this number correctly," he said.

More and more people on antiretrovirals (ARVs) were living longer.

"People living longer means prevalence will go up."


In an overview of the prevalence of HIV among antenatal attendees, Pillay said the rate had increased in seven of the country's nine provinces between 2009 and 2010.

"In KwaZulu-Natal, the rate appears to be stabilising at just under 40% for 2009/10...but the province has the highest prevalence rate, there's no doubt about that."

The five districts that recorded the highest rates in the country were all in that province. These were:

- Umkhanyakude, where the rate was 41.9%;

- eThekwini, 41.1%;

- uMgungundlovu, 42.3%;

- iLembe, 42.3%; and,

- Ugu, 41.1%.

Other provinces

North West had experienced a small decline - from 30% in 2009, to 29.6% in 2010.

The Western Cape had the lowest HIV prevalence rate in the country, at 18.5%, with the Central Karoo district in that province showing the lowest rate in the country at 0.8%.

Pillay said a total of 617 147 new patients were started on antiretroviral treatment in 2011/12, compared to 418 677 the year before.

A total of 9.6 million South Africans had "accepted" HIV testing and counselling in 2011/12.

On the provision of free male condoms, he said just over 397 million were distributed in that year, against a target of one billion.

Condom problems

The distribution of free male condoms is seen as one of the mainstays of government's HIV/Aids campaign.

"We had a fairly significant challenge with male condoms... we had set a target of one billion male condoms distributed free... [but] we were only able to purchase and distribute just under 400 million male condoms.

"The problems were that there was a global shortage of latex, used to make the condoms, [and] we also had a significant delay in provinces registering."

Pillay said the distribution of free male condoms had been delegated to the provinces in 2010, and they had "experienced many challenges" with vendors.

On the mother-to-child transmission rate of HIV, Pillay said this was dropping rapidly.

"Our figures suggest that in 2008, the transmission was 8%... in 2010 (according to a Medical Research Council) study, the transmission rate had dropped to 3.5%. When they repeated the survey in 2011/12, the figure [had] dropped to 2.7%."


Read more on:    hiv aids  |  health


Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Inside News24


Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go! - shop online today

Deal of the week!

Petrol generators from R1399, save up to R350. While stocks last. Shop now!

30% off Pampers!

Save 30% when you buy 3 or more selected pampers products. While stocks last. Shop now!

This week only - 30% off books!

Get 30% off when you buy 2 or more books. Many titles to choose from. While stocks last. Shop now!

New range of Samsung smartphones!

Samsung Galaxy A3, A5 and Alpha now available at while stocks last. Shop now!

Buy 3 eBooks & only pay for 2!

The cheapest of the 3 titles will be free. Many more titles to choose from. While stocks last. Shop now!


You tend to feel more comfortable on an intellectual level. The deep emotional under current today can make you feel a more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.