HIV/Aids - The Mzansi reality

30 November 2018 - 09:34 By Ntokozo Miya
The rate of new infections has dropped, but HIV/Aids remains a big killer in South Africa.
The rate of new infections has dropped, but HIV/Aids remains a big killer in South Africa.
Image: 123RF/Gamjai

As the world prepares for World Aids Day on Saturday, countries are consumed with weighing up how their battles against HIV/Aids are going. In South Africa, the outlook is grim.

According to the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC), the highest rate of new infections is among men aged between 14 and 24. 

The HSRC released the findings of the HIV Prevalence, Incidence, Behaviour and Communication survey in July, after interviewing 33,000 people. Of that group, 24,000 people were tested for HIV and traces of ARVs.

The survey found that one in three people infected is not taking ARVs and can transmit the virus.

According to Health-e, the HSRC study also revealed that KwaZulu-Natal recorded the highest HIV-prevalence rate of all the provinces.

TimesLIVE reported on mid-year population estimates released by Statistics South Africa in July.

Of the approximately 57.73m people living in South Africa in 2018, an estimated 7.52m are HIV positive.

The worst hit group includes people aged 15 to 49, with 19% living with HIV.

Based on research by the South African Institute for Race Relations, Gauteng is the hardest hit province when it comes to new infections.

However, it’s not all bad news for Mzansi. Medical professionals continue to push scientific boundaries, looking for ways to better care for people infected and affected by HIV/Aids.

In October, doctors were able to save an HIV-negative baby by transplanting an organ from an HIV-positive mother.

The infant was critically ill with a liver condition and, in the first operation of its kind, doctors took a segment of the mother’s liver and transplanted it into the child.

The operation was declared a success.