Independant On-line, Next year, four million will be HIV-positive, 29 July 2004

Jo-Anne Smetherham

HIV and Aids is checking population growth in South Africa, and by next year almost two million people will have died of Aids-related illnesses.

Statistics South Africa gave these projections in its mid-year estimates, publicised this week for the first time.

If HIV did not exist, there would be 1,5 million more black people, another 73 000 coloured people, 6 600 more Indians and 62 553 more whites in South Africa.

The statistics also revealed - without giving reasons - that hundreds of thousands of people are leaving the Eastern Cape and Limpopo in an exodus to Gauteng and the Western Cape. Between 2001 and 2006, an extra 223 000 people will have flooded into the Western Cape.

Next year around four million people will be HIV-positive
The statistics show that there are 46,6 million people in South Africa, that one-third of them are under 14-years-old and that:

Around 15 percent of the population has HIV. By next year, around four million people will be HIV-positive

Life expectancy has dropped from 54 to 52 years. Next year it will drop further to just under 51 years

One-fifth of the population live in KwaZulu-Natal, 19 percent in Gauteng and around 10 percent in the Western Cape

The death figures are similar to the figures released by the Actuarial Society of South Africa (Assa), although Assa has estimated a higher HIV prevalence, at five million by next year.

The estimates were based on census data. Other scientists who have worked on HIV and Aids projections were not available for comment by the time of going to press on Wednesday afternoon.

This article was originally published on page 5 of Cape Times on July 29, 2004




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