HIV STATS: Latest figures could contradict claims of national pandemic

CONTRARY to some outrageous figures doing the rounds that one in four South African’s is HIV positive, (call them urban legends if you will), the prevelance of HIV is a lot lower than the scare stories presume. According to the Nelson-Mandela/HSRC study, HIV prevalance is closer to one in ten, or roughly 10.8 percent of the population.

Still alarming and no reason to be any less vigilent. Compared to some of the strange figures emerging from the daily press (some TAC members claim 60% of South Africans are HIV positive) this politically-incorrect interpretation, provides a rather sobering and, I guess refreshing perspective. But it all depends upon how one views the world — either from a half-a-tipple empty or half-a-beer-glass full perspective?

The latest stats have been published by none other than the TAC’s own Equal Treatment journal (March 2006) taken from a study conducted by the HSRC in 2005, which updates (and diminishes) earlier figures of a 11.4% prevelance (South African’s over the age of two with HIV) done in 2002.

All a long way off from end-of-the-worldism, doom and gloom, we’re all going to die from the bug or be forced to marry young virgins, school of behaviour modification?

  1. in the Business Day last week. It was reported that one in five SAs are HIV positive.

  2. That erstwhile organisation is now called the National Research Council – NRC.
    “I write what I like” – Steve Biko

  3. Precisely the kind of reporting on the crisis that irritates me. There is no way in hell that one in five SA’s are HIV positive. That would be about 20% of the population of 48 million, ie roughly 10 million people. Those who want to score political points play up the crisis. Those who are in politics pretend there isn’t a crisis, while the rest of us have to live with the crisis.

  4. These figures are extrapolated, based on the possible number of HIV positive people who have not been tested and, unaware of their status, are thus excluded from other statistics.

    Sad as it may seem, I am afraid they may well be realistic.

  5. I defy to go to some parts of SA and believe that it’s not MORE than 1 in 5…. and besides, this is precisely the kind of academic polemicising that helps no one and gets us nowhere. Instead of spending your time in engaging in wafty debates about stats and the media, perhaps you could go out and engage with someone infected or affected. Moving percentage points up and down doesn’t help them feel any better – decent nutrition and access to the right drugs at the right time does.

  6. One might be moved to care about such things, but making those infected or affected feel better, by lying isn’t going to solve anything. Besides, I really don’t give a &*!@ about those in the academic community who think we would all be better off in the worst-case scenario. A lot of what passes for scientific opinion these days is tainted by the need for a sound-byte and quick one-liner that explains nature and the universe.

    Again I am merely repeating the TAC’s own information and applying a slightly different interpretation, which surely is my soveriegn right under the constitution. BTW who appointed you G-D?

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