Reuters, April 2, 2014
The prevalence of HIV/AIDS in South Africa is rising due to the world’s fastest growth in new infections and a higher patient survival rate, according to a new health study.
An estimated 12.2 percent of South Africa’s population was infected with the HIV virus in 2012, compared with 10.6 percent in 2008, according to a survey of 38,000 people carried out by the country’s Human Sciences Research Council.
The percentage rise was partly due to 400,000 new HIV cases in the year studied, the highest in the world, taking the total number of people infected in South Africa to 6.4 million.
Young black African women were the worst affected, with 23.2 percent of females aged 15-49 infected, compared with 18.8 percent of men, the study showed.
Treatment of the virus is increasing, with around 2 million people on an expanded antiretroviral treatment plan.
Three-quarters of those surveyed believed they were at low risk of contracting HIV, even though one-in-ten of those tested were found to be already infected.