South African HIV Cases Fall Slightly To 5.4M, But New Infections Continue To Outpace Prevention Efforts

“The number of people living with HIV in South Africa has dropped slightly to 5.38 million, and the number of AIDS deaths is finally starting to fall, Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe said Thursday … in a written reply to a question from parliament, where lawmakers had asked for an update on the success of the anti-AIDS fight,” Agence France-Presse reports. “South Africa has more HIV infections than any country in the world, previously estimated at 5.6 million by the United Nations in its global report on HIV in 2009, released late last year,” the news agency writes (8/25).

However, “[t]he rate of new infections continue[s] to outpace our prevention efforts, and thus prevention programs will be prioritized in the new national strategic plan which is being developed for 2012-2016,” Motlanthe said, Reuters reports (Roelf, 8/25). “Motlanthe’s response came several weeks after the end of a massive testing campaign that reached nearly 14 million people, two million of whom tested positive,” according to AFP (8/25).