Close up shot of beaded HIV/AIDS ribbon brooch among beaded South African flag keyrings, Grahamstown, Eastern Cape Province, South Africa. Photo Credit: Neil Overy/Getty Images

Health South Africa25. June 2023

Less and Less HIV Spreading Here

South Africa is seeing a decrease in the number of new HIV infections, three times lower in 2022 than in 1999, with prevention and treatment increasingly improved, used, and adopted.

In 1999, some 538 000 HIV infections were recorded and in 2022, that number dropped to 164 000 new cases. As for HIV-related deaths, there were some 265 000 in 2005 while there were 48 000 in 2022, five times fewer.

According to Thembisa, the leading mathematical model of HIV in South Africa, around 13.2% of the population was estimated to live with HIV in 2022. The model calculates prevalence in different groups. Among women aged 25 to 49 years, it was 31%; among female sex workers, 59%; and among homosexual men 18 or older, 30%. Of the 7.8 million people in total living with HIV, last year, 5.7 million were taking antiretroviral treatment, and 2.1 million weren’t. As most people are stable on antiretroviral treatment and become non-infectious – and therefore live longer – it is critical to increase treatment coverage. It is beneficial both for general health and HIV prevention. Condoms remain an effective tool to prevent the multiplication of cases, and their use has been stable in recent years.

Medical Brief

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