11 February 2012

SA HIV+ stats: 53% women

According to the latest South African Survey, one in two HIV+ people is a woman of child-bearing age.


According to the latest South African Survey, one in two HIV+ people is a woman of child-bearing age. 

There are currently 5.58 million people living with HIV, some 11% of the population, according to data sourced from the Actuarial Society of South Africa (ASSA). Of these people, 5 million (89%) are adults aged 20 to 64 years while 2.93 million (53%) are women of child-bearing age (15-49 years). Youth aged 15 to 24 years account for 731 000 (13%) of those living with HIV, and children aged 14 years and below account for 454 000 (8%).

Of the 5.258 million South Africans living with HIV, KwaZulu-Natal has the highest proportion at 15%, followed by the Free State, Mpumalanga and the North West at 13% respectively. The Western Cape has the lowest proportion at 5%.

Some 29% of women attending public antenatal clinics are HIV-positive, but this figure is expected to have decreased to 25% by 2025.

Ms Lerato Moloi of the research department at the Institute said that in 2009 South Africa had only 0.7% of the world’s population but accounted for 17% of the world’s HIV/Aids cases.

In November 2011 President Jacob Zuma launched a R130bn plan to halve HIV and TB infections by 2015. This plan forms part of a global initiative that was launched on World Aids Day 2011 called the ‘getting to Zero’ campaign. The aims of the campaign are to halve new HIV and TB infections, to halve HIV and TB deaths, to have zero babies perintally infected, and to have zero discrimination associated with HIV, Tb and sexually transmitted infections by 2015.

The survey was published by the South African Institute of Race Relations (SAIRR).

(SAIRR, Press release, February 2012)


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Dr Sindisiwe van Zyl qualified at the University of Pretoria in 2005. She is a patients' rights activist and loves using social media to teach about HIV. She is in private practice in Johannesburg.

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