‘Significant decrease’ in AIDS cases in SA

Henry

South Africa has reported its first significant decline in the number of people suffering from HIV. However, the country remains in the grip of the sexually transmitted epidemic, according to a survey released on Monday.

The country is one of the worst hit in the global epidemic that has killed 10 million people over the past four decades.

The Humanities Research Council (HRC) said a survey found that 12.7% of the population of about 62 million people, about 7.8 million people, now have HIV, which leads to AIDS.

This number is lower than the 14% reported in 2017.

Khangelani Zuma, executive director of the RGN and chief researcher of the survey of around 76,000 people, said it was not possible to give a reason for the drop of 107,000 people. However, according to him, the Covid-19 pandemic was a major health crisis in the five years since the previous survey was conducted.

Zuma says it is also clear that people are “living longer with HIV than in previous years”.

South Africa has more individual HIV cases than any other country and represents about a third of cases in Africa. More than 85,000 people have died annually from AIDS in recent years.

The increasing use of antiretroviral therapy (ART) drugs has also changed the outlook for AIDS/HIV sufferers.

South Africa’s black community has been particularly hard hit by HIV and the densely populated KwaZulu-Natal is the province worst affected by this.

Zuma and other researchers are still concerned about the high numbers of women and young children who are infected with HIV.

“We know that older men infect younger women,” said John Blandford, country director for the US President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief. This organization has spent more than $100 billion in the fight against the epidemic in the last 20 years. The global decline in the use of condoms, which is considered an effective tool in preventing the spread of AIDS, is also highlighted.