About 571 000 people were newly-infected with HIV in 2005 in South Africa, a rate of about 1 500 new infections each day, the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) said on Wednesday.
South African Medical Journal, which assessed HIV incidence in South Africa. The incidence rate refers to the number of people infected with HIV over a single year, as opposed to the prevalence rate, which refers to the total number infected since the start of the epidemic.
Women and girls hit hardest
The incidence of HIV among women aged 20 to 29 was 5.6 percent - six times more than men of the same age. For youth aged 15 to 24, women and girls accounted for 90 percent of all recent infections.
The HSRC said the incidence rates among young women in the prime childbearing age were "especially alarming".
Poverty plays significant role
"These results suggest that poverty plays a significant role in increasing vulnerability to HIV," said Shisana.
Provides critical new insights
"Incidence data provide critical new insights into the dynamics of the HIV epidemic and are a more appropriate measure to correlate biological data with recent behaviours or recent behavioural changes," said Rehle.