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Let’s talk about HIV, baby!

Let’s talk about HIV, baby!

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Published by CityPress
Let’s talk about HIV, baby!
Let’s talk about HIV, baby!

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Published by: CityPress on Apr 05, 2014
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Let’s talk about HIV, baby!

Don’t have time to read the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) report into HIV prevalence in SA? Thembi Wolfram looks at 10 things you need to know about the report, which was released this week. It looks at the incidence of the disease and people’s sexual behaviour


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Race, class, sex and province are relevant. Statistically, the person most at risk of contracting HIV is a black woman in her mid-20s to mid-40s living in an informal settlement in KwaZulu-Natal

The HIV rate increased from 10.6% in 2008 to 12.2 % in 2012. Survivors who are living longer than before with the virus are part of that 12.2% – proof that the country’s antiretroviral programme is working

Two million people now have access to antiretrovirals. Researchers say SA is on its way to universal treatment

Sadly, our knowledge about HIV is declining. In the 2008 survey, one-third of the interviewees knew how HIV is transmitted. The rate dropped to 26.8% in 2012

Only 36.2% had, at the time of being interviewed, used a condom during their most recent sexual encounter


Programmes on the prevention of mother-to childtransmission have been very successful. The infection rate among babies up to the age of 12 months declined from 2% in 2008 to 1.3% in 2012


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Our attitude towards HIVpositive people is, overall, positive. For more than 80% of people, a relative, teacher or shopkeeper who disclosed that they were HIV positive would not be ostracised

Fewer young people are infected. In the 15-to-24 age group, the rate fell from 8.7% in 2008 to 7.3% in 2012. But girls in that age range are four times more at risk of infection than boys in the same range

Voluntary medical male circumcision is on the rise: from 14.6% in 2008 to 18.6% in 2012. Circumcision does not eliminate the risk of transmission, but it does lower it

Three out of four people surveyed thought they were at low risk of contracting HIV. Ten percent of them were infected without knowing it

Source: Human Sciences Research Council

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