South Africa HIV

There are around 18,286,000 children in South Africa, with a staggering 1,400,000 orphaned by HIV /AIDS and over a quarter of a million children infected with HIV themselves.

In fact, South Africa has a higher number of HIV infections than any other country on earth, and those following in number are all South Africa's neighbours.

HIV / AIDS was first recorded in South Africa in 1983 with its first death, however three years later there were still just 46 recorded instances and even by the end of the decade only 1% of the population was infected.

This rose to 3% in 1996 then soared to 10% in 1999, causing 310,000 deaths in that year alone. This rising figure prompted the government to launch a five year plan designed to combat AIDS/HIV and sexually transmitted infections and SANAC, (the South Africa AIDS Council) was established.

In South Africa the primary infection route is through heterosexual sex however pregnancy is also a major infection cause. As such, its of concern that 80% of infected people aged 20-24 are female infecting 40,000 children each and every year. There are variations between provinces with over a third of pregnant women in KwaZulu-Natal province being infected. 

Poverty in South Africa is already rife and the loss of an adult carer such as a mother have have serious consequences with older children having to fulfil that role, provide care themselves to younger siblings and often having to give up school in order to do so. Again, the loss of an adult, particularly a male father can plunge a family into further poverty from which there is little or no escape.

In this video documentary a group of South African children talk about HIV / AIDS, how its affected their communities and families and the impact of programs to address the issue which current figures suggest is levelling out and dropping for some age groups. The map below shows HIV rates for each state where it can be seen that Mpumalang has the highest rate of 35.5% ~ perhaps not surprisingly as it borders Swaziland, the country with the highest infection rate in the world.


South Africa HIV

South Africa HIV

South Africa HIV

South Africa HIV



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