South African HIV prevalence rises on soaring new infections

A patient with HIV and tuberculosis wears a mask while awaiting consultation at the Ubuntu clinic in Cape TownThe prevalence of HIV/AIDS in South Africa is rising due to the world's fastest growth in new infections and a higher patient survival rate, according to a new health study. An estimated 12.2 percent of South Africa's population was infected with the HIV virus in 2012, compared with 10.6 percent in 2008, according to a survey of 38,000 people carried out by the country's Human Sciences Research Council. The percentage rise was partly due to 400,000 new HIV cases in the year studied, the highest in the world, taking the total number of people infected in South Africa to 6.4 million. However, the study found the overall knowledge about how HIV is transmitted and can be prevented fell to 26.8 percent in 2012, from 30.3 pct in 2008.

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