A recently released statistic from the South African Institute for Race Relations estimates that South Africa’s population would be larger by about 4.4 million people were it not for deaths due to HIV/Aids.
Of course, it doesn’t necessarily mean that 4.4 million people have died of Aids or Aids-related illnesses. We have to assume that the researchers took into account the families that these people would have had, along with various other factors. However, it is still a huge number; equivalent to almost 10 percent of our total population and bigger than the populations of New Zealand, Croatia and Uruguay.
Perhaps the most worrying statistic to emerge from the study, however, is the fact that the percentage of deaths from HIV/Aids is set to increase dramatically by 2025. This shows that, despite recent increases in the availability and effectiveness of ARVs, there is still a massive amount of work to do to fight the epidemic.
Now, more than ever, it’s clear that effective HIV/Aids education is essential to the future of South Africa, particularly since the overwhelming majority of those living with HIV/Aids are adults. With this in mind, we must ask the question: do you feel that enough is being done to educate people about HIV/Aids prevention? Also, how will you do your part?
Fact: There are between 31 and 35 million people living with HIV worldwide. Amongst these, Sub-Saharan Africa has the highest infection rate in the world. Having said this, statistics around HIV/Aids are notoriously unreliable, mainly due to the stigma faced by those living with the disease.