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Wednesday, November 21, 2007

SA has worst HIV rate in the world

This can never be more worrying. Yet the government is still convinced that the scourge of HIV/AIDS hasn't reached epidemic levels. To them, it' s just another passing pandemic, and as a result of the politicians' ill attitude, more and more of those infected will not have access to the much needed anti-retrovirals (ARVs). Our government is in denial, our neighbours and their new born babies die whilst a practical and temporary solution is available. May be it's time Manto Tshabalala-Msimang got her wake up call and started scoring points by making available and accessible, more ARV drugs to those who need them.

This story just makes one think if we are unique as a country, to any other:

SA has worst HIV rate in the worldWed,
21 Nov 2007 (NEWS24.co.za)

More than three-quarters of Aids-related deaths occur in sub-Saharan Africa and South Africa is now officially the country with the highest prevalence of HIV in the world, a new UN report said on Wednesday.
Improved monitoring of the pandemic has led the United Nations to revise its estimates, particularly in Southern Africa and Asia, resulting in a major revision in the assessment of India's epidemic, the country previously thought to be worst-hit.

"South Africa is the country with the largest number of HIV infections in the world," read the UNAids annual report on the epidemic for 2007.

Millions have Aids in SA
While the report did not give a figure, the South African government currently estimates some 5.5 million of the country's 48 million population are living with the disease.
While Aids continued to be the leading cause of death in Africa, sub-Saharan Africa was the worst affected region.

"More than two out of three (68 percent) adults and nearly 90 percent of children infected with HIV live in this region, and more than three in four (76 percent) Aids deaths in 2007 occurred there, illustrating the unmet need for antiretroviral treatment in Africa."

Women in the region bear the brunt of the disease.
"Unlike other regions, the majority of people (61 percent) living with HIV in sub-Saharan Africa are women," the report found.
"It is estimated that 1.7 million people were newly infected with HIV in 2007, bringing to 22.5 million the total number of people living with the virus" that causes Aids.
Southern Africa was the worst affected in the region with national adult HIV prevalence over 15 percent in eight countries.

A significant decline in Zim
"While there is evidence of a significant decline in the national HIV prevalence in Zimbabwe, the epidemics in most of the rest of the sub region have either reached or are approaching a plateau."
The UN data showed that adult HIV prevalence was either stable or has started to decline in many parts of Africa.

According to the report, Kenya and Zimbabwe were some of the countries where the slowing trend of new infections was most evident, with similar shifts in Burkino Faso, Ivory Coast and Mali.
Worldwide, new infections of Aids were levelling off, and of the 2.5 million people newly infected overall, more than half come from sub-Saharan Africa.

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