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Decline In AIDS-Related Deaths In S. Africa Attributed To Expanded Treatment Program

“One in 10 South Africans is HIV-positive but AIDS-related deaths are falling as ramped-up treatment begins to have an impact, the country’s official statistics agency said Tuesday,” Agence France-Presse reports. According to data from Statistics South Africa’s mid-year report, HIV/AIDS “will be responsible for 32 percent of all deaths this year,” compared with 48 percent in 2005, the news agency notes, adding, “Average life expectancy has also increased to 59.6 years, from just 51.6 in 2005.” Statistician-General Pali Lehohla told AFP, “Medicine has advanced and people are living with HIV and AIDS,” the news agency writes, noting the country “had 1.9 million people on treatment in April this year,” with 5.3 million of its nearly 53 million residents living with HIV (5/14).