An average of one in five South African adults are HIV-positive. This accounts for 17% of South Africans aged between 15 and 49 years old.

Approximately 5.3-million South Africans under the age of 50 are HIV-positive. This is according to a study by the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME).

IHME broke down the number of people living with HIV across 46 countries in Africa to help policymakers focus their efforts on fighting this epidemic. The study also found that the prevalence of HIV in South African adults is much higher than that of most other countries, including Kenya, Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Namibia, and Mozambique.

South Africa’s HIV rate may be higher as people are living longer with the help of antiretroviral therapies.

Other interesting data was:

– The highest prevalence was the uMgungundlovu District Municipality in KwaZulu-Natal.

– The district municipality with the lowest percentage of adults living with HIV is the West Coast District Municipality, which includes the towns of Malmesbury, Clanwilliam, Langebaan, and St Helena Bay.

– In Johannesburg, almost half-a-million (466,000) adult residents between the ages of 15 and 49 have HIV.

– KwaZulu-Natal has the most residents in the age bracket living with HIV, with 1.4 million residents affected.

The research also showed how few Africans have access to antiretrovirals. According to Unicef, 34% of HIV positive people in East and Southern Africa and 60% of people in West and Central Africa are not currently on treatment.

Picture: Pixabay

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