Time line of HIV AIDS In South Africa
One conflict in Africa that has taken a long time to get appropriate media attention, with regards to its severity, is that of the conflict of ordinary African people against HIV and AIDS. Between 1999 and 2000 more people died of AIDS in Africa than in all the wars on the continent, as mentioned by the UN Secretary General, Kofi Annan.
The death toll is expected to have a severe impact on many economies in the region. In some nations, it is already being felt. Life expectancies in some nations is already decreasing rapidly, while mortality rates are increasing.
HIV/AIDS in South Africa is a prominent health concern; South Africa is believed to have more people with HIV/AIDS than any other country in the world.
The 2007 UNAIDS report estimated that 5,700,000 South Africans had HIV/AIDS, or just under 12% of South Africa's population of 48 million. In the adult population the rate is 18.5%. The number of infected is larger than in any other single country in the world. The other top five countries with the highest HIV/AIDS prevalence are all neighbours of South Africa.
In 2007, only 28% of people in South Africa with advanced HIV/AIDS were receiving anti-retroviral treatment (ART). In 2004, 2005 and 2006 the figures were 4%, 15% and 21% respectively.By 2009, nearly 1 million or about 2% of all adult South Africans were receiving ART.
In 2010, an estimated 280,000 South Africans died of HIV/AIDS. In the aughts, it is estimated that between 42% and 47% of all deaths among South Africans were HIV/AIDS deaths. However, the Death Notification Forms Survey of 2010, which estimates a 93% completion rate, shows that out of a total of 543,856 deaths nationwide (Appendix C4), only 18,325 deaths were attributed to HIV/AIDS Diseases (B20-B24, Table 4.5).
Although new infections among mature age groups in South Africa remain high, new infections among teenagers seem to be on the decline. HIV/AIDS prevalence figures in the 15–19 year age group for 2005, 2006 and 2007 were 16%, 14% and 13% respectively.
HIV/AIDS prevalence among sexually active South Africans by province are:
Free State: 18.5%
North West: 17.7%
Eastern Cape: 15.2%
Northern Cape: 9.2%
Western Cape: 5.3%
The South African press took a strong advocacy position during the denialism era under Thabo Mbeki. There are numerous examples of journalists taking the government to task for policy positions and public statements that were seen as irresponsible. Some of these examples include: attacks on Health Minister Manto Tshabalala-Msimang’s “garlic and potato” approach to treatment, outrage at Mbeki’s statement that he never knew anyone who had died of AIDS,and coverage of the humiliating 2006 Global AIDS Conference.