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

  • Thursday Sir Lowry's Pass - 05:35 AM
    Road name: Old Sir Lowrys Pass Road
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Bezweni Road
  • Thursday Cape Town - 05:35 AM
    Road name: Buitengracht Street
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Waterkant Street
More traffic reports...

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now! - shop online today

Get many eggs in one basket!

Gaming bundles: 2 Super Hits games for R99, 3 Disney games for R99 and more + exclusive accessory bundles only available on While stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Up to 25% off electronics

Buy top electronics and save up to 25%. Such as’s 1# selling product the gobii eReader, Patriot X Porter flash drive, Asus Nexus 7” 3G tablet, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Lenovo G580 Notebook and many more. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off appliances & homeware

Save up to 30% on appliances and homeware this Easter! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Samsung Galaxy Note 16GB

GALAXY Note combines the market's largest HD Super AMOLED display,...

From R3899.00

I'm shopping for:


There may be a break through, either through quiet contemplative time to connect to your deep side or forced on you 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.