HIV infection increasing in SA

The rate of new HIV infections in South Africa, which has one of the world's largest case loads with nearly one in 10 infected, is growing faster than prevention efforts, the deputy president said.

"The rate of new infections continues to outpace our prevention efforts, and thus prevention programmes will be prioritised in the new national strategic plan which is being developed for 2012-2016," Kgalema Motlanthe told parliament.

Statistics SA estimates that 5.4 million people in the country of about 49 million are living with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) that causes Aids.

East and Southern Africa are the area’s most heavily affected by the global HIV epidemic. Out of the total number of people worldwide in 2009 living with HIV, 34% were in 10 countries of Southern Africa, according to the UN Programme on HIV/Aids.

Recently, however, new HIV infection rates have been falling in the region, and in sub-Saharan Africa HIV rates declined by 25% between 2001 and 2009.

Dramatic change in South Africa

A decade ago, the government was putting its faith in those who denied that HIV causes AIDS, and funded traditional healers who proposed garlic and beetroot as cures, while withholding proven drugs for treatment.

Over the past few years it has spent billions of dollars to combat the disease, overseeing the world's largest rollout of anti-retroviral drugs, with over 1.3 million now receiving this life-saving medication.

(Reuters Health, Wendell Roelf, August 2011)

Read more:

HIV/Aids

How HIV infections begins

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Voting Booth
Have you entered our Health of the Nation survey?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Yes
32% - 9475 votes
No
68% - 20308 votes
Vote