July saw the 22nd International AIDS Conference held in Amsterdam, just before that HSRC released the South African National HIV Prevalence, Incidence, Behaviour and Communication Survey and Stats SA released figures on HIV and Aids in the country.
Speaking on The Eusebius McKaiser Show, Deputy Executive Director, Wits Institute for Sexual and Reproductive Health, HIV and Related Diseases (WHI) Professor Francois Venter says the new infection rate is still very high.
Within this, there are good news stories in terms of decreasing numbers, what happened over the conference which finished about three weeks ago, was the release of the South African data which is similar interesting enough to Swaziland and Botswana.— Professor Francois Venter, Deputy ExecutiveDirector, WHI
But a fairly dramatic drop in new HIV infections in the last five years. In South Africa, that number was about 44% in Swaziland it was close to 50%, Botswana which is always an interesting test case, for us because it is essentially two towns as a country because it is very small and everyone lives in these two towns making it very easy for them to give care to everyone and they have been ahead of the curve.— Professor Francois Venter, Deputy ExecutiveDirector, WHI
In terms of providing anti-retro virals than in South Africa during the Manto Msimang years. So they actually have got saturation coverage in terms of treatment, prevention and everything.— Professor Francois Venter, Deputy ExecutiveDirector, WHI
He adds that Botswana hasn't shown a decrease in new incidence rates until this conference and now there is a 30% decrease.
45% decrease in five years is incredibly high, it is still often obscenely high levels, so we still see a lot of new infections particularly amongst young women and there are groups throughout the world that are still very very high new instance rates.— Professor Francois Venter, Deputy ExecutiveDirector, WHI
Listen below to the full interview...
This article first appeared on 702 : 'SA sees 44% drop in new HIV infections'