How to Assist the Orphan in Class Her Parents Died to Hiv

An estimated 5.6 million people were living with HIV and AIDS in South Africa in 2011, the highest number of people in any country.1 In the same year, 270,190 South Africans died of AIDS-related causes. Although this number reflects the huge amount of lives that the country has lost to AIDS over the past three decades, it is 100,000 fewer deaths than in 2001, demonstrating the many lives that have been saved through a massive scale-up of treatment in the last few years.2  

Although the history of the HIV response in South Africa has been seriously impeded by leaders who doubted the science behind AIDS and ARVs, in the last few years the country has become home to the world's biggest programme of HIV treatment, and the country's life-expectancy has gained five years.3 4

HIV prevalence is 17.3 percent among the general population, but varies a lot by region.5 In KwaZulu-Natal, the region with the highest prevalence, just under 40 percent of 15-49 year-olds are living with HIV.6 Provinces at the lower end of the scale include Western Cape and Northern Cape.7

back to top Impact of HIV upon South Africa

The impact of the HIV and AIDS epidemic has been seen in the dramatic change in South Africa’s general mortality rates. The overall annual number of deaths increased sharply between 1997, when 316,559 people died, and 2006 when 607,184 people died.8 Those who are particularly shouldering the burden of the increasing mortality rate are young adults, the age group most affected by the epidemic;9 almost one-in-three women aged 25-29, and over a quarter of men aged 30-34, are living with HIV.10 The link suggests that AIDS was the principle factor in the overall rising number of deaths. However, life-expectancy has risen vastly since 2005.11

We have more about South African HIV and AIDS statistics.

Impact upon children and families

South Africa’s HIV and AIDS epidemic has had a devastating effect on children. The age bracket that AIDS most...