AIDS kills 950 S. Africans every day

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AIDS in S.AfricaJOHANNESBURG, Nov. 30 (Xinhua) -- HIV/AIDS kills an average of 950 people in South Africa every day, and 71 percent of these deaths occur among people aged from 15 to 49, a new study has indicated.

About 2 million South Africans had died from AIDS-related illness since the start of the epidemic in the early 1990s.

This year, deaths due to AIDS accounted for 350,000 of the estimated 740,000 total fatalities, which was equivalent to 950 AIDS-related deaths a day, according to the study conducted by the Actuarial Society of South Africa (ASSA), in collaboration with scientists from the Medical Research Council and the Center for Actuarial Research (CARE) at the University of Cape Town.

The scientists suggested high rates of AIDS-related mortality were likely to continue for at least the next 10 years in the country of 47 million people.

The new study estimates 5.4 million South Africans, or 11 percent of the population, were infected with HIV by June this year, compared with the 5.5 million estimate for last year given by government and the United Nations, national newspaper Business Day reported on Thursday.

Researchers warned that the rate at which government was expanding access to anti-retroviral (ARV) treatment was barely matching the rate at which patients progressed to AIDS-defining illness.

The latest figures from government and AIDS activists suggest about 213,000 patients are getting treatment in the public sector, while another 100,000 get the drugs privately, representing just more than a third of those in need.

If South Africa managed to get 50 percent of HIV-positive patients needing anti-retroviral medicines on treatment by 2010, the number of annual AIDS-related deaths would be about 338,000, said the report.

About a third of these deaths could be averted if treatment programs reached 90 percent of the patients in need, ASSA estimated.

The study also warned that young South Africans were hardest hit by HIV/AIDS.

There were a total of 530,000 new HIV infections in 2006, 250,000 of them among people aged between 15 and 24.

The report also estimates that 1 million children and teenagers under the age of 18 have lost their mothers to AIDS.

source - Xinhua 

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This page contains a single entry by ID Admin published on November 30, 2006 6:14 PM.

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