- South Africa finally seems to be tackling its AIDS crisis. HIV prevalence among pregnant women aged between 15 and 19 in South Africa fell for the second time in the past two years, Health Minister Manto Tshabalala-Msimang told parliament.
According to preliminary findings of the latest survey shows national HIV prevalence has dropped from an estimated 29.2 percent in 2006 to 28 percent last year.
The report shows that 15-19 years age group dropped from 13.7 percent in 2006 to 12,9 percent last year, saying in addition, a further decrease was observed in the 25-29 years age group which dropped from 38.7 percent in 2006 to 37.9 percent last year.
South Africa health minister said decreasing trends are encouraging and were a clear indication of the country’s intensive prevention campaign, which was beginning to make a difference in reducing HIV infections.
"Taken together, these figures do indeed suggest that we have a trend of decreasing prevalence overall and in the younger age cohort and this trend is in line with the predictions of the United Nations AIDS agency spectrum model," said Ms Tshabalala-Msimang.
She said Health department had initiated to put more than 450,000 patients on antiretroviral treatment by end of 2008, which would make the country programme the largest in the world.
South Africa has the highest number of HIV sufferers in the world with around 5.5 million of the 47 million population infected by the virus with close to 1,000 people dying of HIV related ailments every day.
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