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HIV South Africa – Antiretrovirals, prevalence & provincial statistics

Collecting HIV survey statistics in South Africa

Collecting HIV survey statistics in South Africa

HIV statistics for South Africa

The HIV statistics for South Africa are mostly estimates, that is they are approximate figures. They come from a variety of publications including the Statistics South Africa Population estimates, and the HSRC South African National HIV Prevalence, Incidence and Behaviour Survey Report.

HIV statistics South Africa – prevalence

The HIV prevalence for South Africa is the percentage of people that are HIV positive in the population out of the total population at a given point in time.

In 2017 it is estimated that 12.6% of the population, that is 7.06 million people are HIV positive.1Statistics South Africa  Mid-year population estimates 2017 www.statssa.gov.za

There are 1.86 million more People Living with HIV (PLHIV) than in 2008, when the percentage was 10.6, that is 5.2 million people. The increased prevalence of HIV in 2017 is largely due to the combined effect of new infections, and a successfully expanded antiretroviral treatment programme, which has increased survival among people living with HIV.

Looking at the total population, the prevalence in women aged 15-49 is 21.17%, the prevalence in adults aged 15-49 is 17.98% and the prevalence among youth aged 15-24 is 4.64%.2Statistics South Africa  Mid-year population estimates 2017 www.statssa.gov.za

HIV Prevalence Rate South Africa – by age and sex

Previously in 2012 there was found to be considerable variation in prevalence rates between women and men. 3South African National HIV Prevalence, Incidence and Behaviour Survey 2012  http://www.hsrc.ac.za/en/research-data/view/6871

HIV Prevalence Rate by Age and Sex in South Africa 2012
0-14 15-19 20-24 25-29 30-34 35-39 40-44 45-49 50-54 55-59 60+
Men 2.3 0.7 5.1 17.3 25.6 28.8 15.8 13.4 15.5 5.5 4.6
Women 2.4 5.6 17.4 28.4 36.0 31.6 28.0 19.7 14.8 9.7 2.4

Overall women had a significant higher HIV prevalence than men. The prevalence of HIV was highest among women aged 30-34 and among men aged 35-39. In the teenage population the estimated HIV prevalence among women was eight times that of their male equivalents. This suggests that female teenagers aged 15-19 are more likely than their male equivalents to have sex, not with people in the same age group, but with older sex partners. In the age group 30-35 over one third of all women were estimated to be HIV positive.

HIV Prevalence Rate South Africa – by province

There was also in 2012 considerable variation in the prevalence rate according to the province.4South African National HIV Prevalence, Incidence and Behaviour Survey 2012 http://www.hsrc.ac.za/en/research-data/view/6871

HIV prevalence rate by province in South Africa in 2012
KZN MP FS NW GP EC LP NC WC
Prevalence Rate 16.9 14.1 14.0 13.3 12.4 11.6 9.2 7.4 5

Key: KwaZulu-Natal, MP – Mpumalanga, FS – Free State, NW – North West, GP – Gauteng, EC – Eastern Cape, LP – Limpopo, NC – Northern Cape, WC – Western Cape

Important South African populations

Although the epidemic in South Africa is a generalised epidemic, there are some specific populations or groups of people, who have a higher than average rate of HIV prevalence. The HIV survey found these groups to be:5South African National HIV Prevalence, Incidence and Behaviour Survey 2012 http://www.hsrc.ac.za/en/research-data/view/6871

Key populations South Africa 2012
Population HIV Prevalence
Black African women aged 20-35 31.6%
People co-habiting 30.9%
Black African men aged 25-49 25.7%
Disabled people 15 and over 16.7%
High risk alcohol drinkers 15 and over 14.3%
Recreational drug users 12.7%

HIV incidence

The HIV incidence is the number of new HIV infections in a population during a certain time period. In 2017 the incidence rate among those aged 15-49 was 0.91%.6Statistics South Africa  Mid-year population estimates 2017 www.statssa.gov.za

Antiretroviral treatment (ART)

By 2012

there were just over 2 million South Africans estimated to have been exposed to antiretrovirals.7South African National HIV Prevalence, Incidence and Behaviour Survey 2012 http://www.hsrc.ac.za/en/research-data/view/6871

Antiretroviral treatment exposure by sex, age & race South Africa 2012
Estimated number of people living with HIV Estimated number of people on antiretroviral treatment Proportion of people living with HIV on antiretroviral treatment
Sex
Male 2,531,000 651,000 25.7%
Female 3,873,000 1,344,000 34.7%
Age group (years)
0-14 369,000 166,000 45.1%
15-24 720,000 103,000 14.3%
25-49 4,706,000 1,466,000 31.2%
50+ 610,000 260,000 42.7%
15-49 5,426,000 1,569,000 28.9%%
Race
Black African 6,232,000 1,924,000 30.9%
Other 172,000 71,000 41.3%

By 2014

it was estimated that the number of PLHIV who were receiving antiretroviral therapy was 3,078,570.

No. of PLHIV receiving ART 2009-2014
2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014
No. receiving ART 616,337 933,621 1,611,430 2,350,180 2,760,620 3,078,570

HIV related deaths

It was estimated that in 2017 the number of AIDS related deaths was 126,755. TB was the primary cause of death for PLHIV in 2017. The highest number of deaths is estimated to have been in 2006 when an estimated 345,185 people died. The number of deaths has declined consistently since then, as a result of access to antiretrovirals. See TB & HIV in South Africa for more information.

Estimates of AIDS related deaths
2010 2014 2015 2016 2017
Estimated AIDS deaths for all ages 148,632 142,534 143,059 135,154 126,755

TB and HIV co-infection

It is estimated that the TB/HIV co-infection rate in South Africa is nearly 60%. So this means that the country’s TB epidemic is directly linked to HIV incidence and prevalence.

As an increasing number of people who are already HIV positive are receiving ART, so a decreasing number of them are developing TB. However, this has to be seen alongside the need to provide ART for those people who are becoming newly infected.

You can read more about HIV & TB in South Africa by looking at

TB & HIV in South Africa

Drug resistant TB in South Africa

or TB statistics for South Africa.

References

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1. Statistics South Africa  Mid-year population estimates 2017 www.statssa.gov.za
2. Statistics South Africa  Mid-year population estimates 2017 www.statssa.gov.za
3. South African National HIV Prevalence, Incidence and Behaviour Survey 2012  http://www.hsrc.ac.za/en/research-data/view/6871
4. South African National HIV Prevalence, Incidence and Behaviour Survey 2012 http://www.hsrc.ac.za/en/research-data/view/6871
5. South African National HIV Prevalence, Incidence and Behaviour Survey 2012 http://www.hsrc.ac.za/en/research-data/view/6871
6. Statistics South Africa  Mid-year population estimates 2017 www.statssa.gov.za
7. South African National HIV Prevalence, Incidence and Behaviour Survey 2012 http://www.hsrc.ac.za/en/research-data/view/6871