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AIDS in South Africa


The most prominent health problem in South Africa is HIV/AIDS. Of all the countries in the world, South Africa is believed to have the highest prevalence of HIV/AIDS. According to a report by UNAIDS, approximate 12% of South Africans have HIV/AIDS. The figure is about five million and seven hundred thousand out of the forty eight million people in South Africa. What is even more disturbing is that only a small portion of the people living with HIV/AIDS in South Africa get ARVs. Another important thing to note is that almost half of the deaths in South Africa are due to HIV/AIDS. The only positive thing is that new infections among teenagers has been reducing over the past few years.

Prevalence of HIV/AIDS in South Africa

A South African Institution, The Human Sciences Research Council found out that HIV/AIDS has been on the rise in South Africa. Another interesting finding about HIV/AIDS in South Africa was that the knowledge about HIV/AIDS has been decreasing instead of increasing. There are also a number of factors in which HIV/AIDS in South Africa prevails:

  1. Race

Research done in South Africa in 2008 shown that the prevalence of HIV/AIDS in South Africa is higher in blacks than the whites. About 13.6 % of the blacks and 0.3% of the whites in South Africa have HIV/AIDS. False traditions, lack of awareness and education, local attitudes and sexual violence are responsible for these percentages, (Christie, pg. 23-27).

  1. Gender

Generally, HIV/AIDS is more prevalent among females on South Africa than in males. A study shows that 80% of the people aged between 20 years and 24 years are females while 33% of the people aged between 25 and 29 are males, (Christie, pg. 23-27).

  1. Pregnant Women


In South Africa, pregnant women are more generally likely to have HIV/AIDS than women who are not pregnant. The data however changes from one province to the other.

  1. Age

Age is also an important factor when considering the prevalence of HIV/AIDS in South Africa. Four the four years from 2005 to 2008, the number of cases of HIV/AIDS among older teenagers has reduced by half. Also in South Africa, the rate of using condoms is higher among the people who are less than 30 years old while older people less likely use condoms.

  1. Province

In South Africa, some provinces such as the KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng provinces have a very high prevalence of HIV/AIDS.

Economic Impact of HIV/AIDS in South Africa

In South Africa, the problem of HIV/AIDS has a very huge economic impact. In a research done in 2003 that tried to find the difference in economic impact between a scenario with HIV/AIDS and another without. What the research found out was that in the scenario with HIV/AIDS, the real growth measured by the GDP would be 0.6% lower than if the scenario without HIV/AIDS. However the research also found out that the per capita growth measured in terms of the GDP would be 0.9% higher than if there was HIV/AIDS. In addition. The research found out that the growth of the population and the size of the labour force would be lower in a scenario with HIV/AIDS as compared to a scenario without but the rate of unemployment would be higher in a scenario without HIV/AIDS as compared to a scenario with HIV/AIDS.

Awareness Campaigns on HIV/AIDS in South Africa

In South Africa, there are four main awareness campaigns. These are Soul buddyz – a television series that is done for teenagers, Soul City – a television series that targets adults, Khomanani that is done by the government and Lovelife that is funded privately.

Co-infection with tuberculosis

Over the years, it has come to be known that in South Africa both HIV/AIDS and Tuberculosis are contracted together. It was estimated that 33% of people who had HIV/AIDS also had Tuberculosis in 2007.

Works cited

Christie, Grania. “AIDS in South Africa.” South Africa International 22.1 (1991): 23-27.


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