MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 26, 2016

South Africa's HIV/AIDS death rate declines

HIV/AIDS death rates decline in South Africa | Courtesy of sciencedaily.com
According to the official journal from the International AIDS Society, AIDS mortality rates have shown a decrease in South Africa from the disease’s height in 2007.

Health officials attribute the decline to the widespread introduction and implementation of efficient antiretroviral therapy. The scientists created models to show the estimates of deaths in South Africa from HIV/AIDS beginning in 1997 and ending in 2010; Analysts have released refined estimates that show approximately three million deaths due to AIDS in 2010. Currently, 12% of the South African population has HIV infections.

Unfortunately, there was ongoing stigma and government denial until the late 1990s. Even today, with clear evidence that there is an AIDS pandemic, statistics show that only 2 or 3 percent of deaths are being attributed to HIV/AIDS. There remains a vastly under-reported, and therefore underestimated, account of HIV and AIDS deaths in South Africa.

Unfortunately, HIV and AIDS are still a leading cause of death throughout South Africa. Researchers from the South African Medical Research Council have reported that there is an ongoing reluctance to recognize AIDS that is inhibiting their work.

"The sooner HIV and AIDS are normalized as chronic health conditions, the sooner South Africa will be able to eliminate the epidemic," the report from the South African Medical Research Council said. "Reliably counting deaths from AIDS, an essential mechanism to monitor progress, has to become routine."

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