Around one in 10 South Africans are living with HIV, according to the latest report released by Statistics SA. News24 reports that statistician general Pali Lehohla, speaking at the release of the mid-year population estimates report in Pretoria, said 6.19m South Africans, 11.2%, are living with the disease, out of an estimated total population of 54.95m people.
The number of South Africans infected with HIV has increased by 2.17m since 2002, when 4.02m South Africans were living with the virus. However, infections were dropping, with the incidence rate for people between the ages of 15 and 49 declining. This could be seen in the reduction of infections for those aged between 15 and 24. In 2002, 6.75% of this group were infected with HIV, dropping to 5.59% in 2015.
There had been a gradual drop in Aids-related deaths since 2002. In 2015, Stats SA estimates that 531 965 people had died, with 162 445 of those being Aids-related – or 30.5%. In 2002, 44.6% of all deaths were Aids-related; this figure peaked in 2005 at 50.7%.
“We need to look at what progress is being achieved in demographics,” Lehohla said in the report. “Life expectancy is increasing. That is the biggest demographic gain the world observes.” He said in Africa, life expectancy had increased by 20 years since the 1950s.
In South Africa, average life expectancy in 2015 was 62.5 years, an increase of 9.1 years since 2004. The average life expectancy for a South African male was 60.6 years, while for a woman, it was 64.2 years. The increase in average life expectancy was matched by a drop in both the infant mortality rate and the children-under-5 mortality rate.