Almost one in five South Africans have HIV. South Africa is the country with the most individuals living with HIV (5.6 million); it also has the most HIV deaths annually (310,000).
Despite these grim facts, there is some good news. The Economist reports:
“Although the number of South Africans living with the disease continues to rise…the tally of new cases each year has tumbled by half since 1999—thanks largely to a dramatic increase in the use of condoms, according to new research…
National surveys show the proportion of young South African men aged 16-24 who reported using a condom at their last sexual encounter leaping from 20% in 1999 to 75% in 2009. This, more than an equally dramatic rise in anti-retroviral treatment, is the “most significant factor” in the fall of new infections, say the British and South African authors of the study.”
Let’s hope the South Africa has truly turned the corner.