The number of new HIV infections in South Africa could be on the decline, the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) said.
"There is supporting evidence that HIV incidence in South Africa may be decreasing, albeit that it remains very high," the TAC said in a newsletter. "Mathematical models that have been based on measurements of HIV prevalence over time show that HIV incidence peaked in 1999 and has declined since then."
This could be because the epidemic hit a 'natural peak', because of increased availability of drugs to combat the virus, and prevention efforts. "However, the contribution of these and other factors is speculative and more research is needed to understand this better," said the TAC.
More research into prevalence
The organisation called for more research into the prevalence of HIV in South Africa and factors in the possible lowering of HIV infection rates. "A decline in incidence does not mean that the HIV crisis is over.
"Rather, it would suggest either a natural progression of the epidemic or that the investment in treatment and prevention is paying off and needs to be sustained and increased in future if continued progress is to be seen," said the TAC. - (Sapa, July 2010)