Drop in HIV Rate Among South African Teens

There is good news out of South Africa on HIV/AIDS. A report released yesterday showed that the HIV epidemic has leveled off at a prevalence of 10.9% for those aged two and over, infections among 20-year-olds are down from 2.2% in 2005 to 1.7% in 2008, and new infections among 18-year-olds have been halved since 2005.

Excerpts below, full piece here

The number of new HIV infections among the country’s teenagers has dropped significantly due to condom use, giving rare hope to the country with the world’s biggest HIV-positive population.

“There is clearly light at the end of the tunnel,” said Dr Aaron Motsoaledi, the health minister. “There is real light.”

The report also said that HIV prevalence in children between two and 14 fell from 5.6% in 2002 to 2.5% last year, mainly thanks to the spread of drugs to prevent women passing on the virus to their children.

-Rena Pacheco-Theard