Positive signals in the fight against HIV in South Africa

Sub-Saharan Africa is still the region hardest hit by HIV in the world, accounting for two-thirds of people living with HIV (65%). But the situation is improving, and more and more countries are meeting their 2025 targets, such as South Africa, the most affected country in the world.

AIDS campaign in Daveyton, south of Johannesburg (illustrative image). REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko

By: RFI Follow


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With our correspondent in Johannesburg, Josephine Kloeckner

In South Africa, nearly 8 million people are living with HIV. This is an unprecedented number in the world, but for the first time it has fallen significantly, according to a study by a public research institute. Over the past five years, the proportion of South Africans living with HIV has fallen from 14% to 12.7% of the population, a decrease of 100,000 people.

South Africans, however, are unequally affected by the virus. It affects blacks, young people, and especially women, especially young women. Between the ages of 25 and 29, women are three times more likely than men to be carriers of the virus, victims in particular of the decline in condom use.

Among the advances, the use of antiretrovirals is clearly increasing. Especially since 2016 and the generalization of their unconditional free admission.

Across sub-Saharan Africa, where more than 25 million people are living with HIV, testing and treatment are also improving. According to UNAIDS, five countries in the region have already met the 2025 targets, with eight more coming close.

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