Premier of KwaZulu-Natal, Sihle Zikhalala praised the Umkhanyakude District recently on its ‘exceptional’ figures in meeting the UNAIDS 90-90-90 targets. Yet, when Spotlight recently visited the Jozini area, we were confronted with a less rosy picture. Some people stopped their HIV treatment because they do not have food to eat, and activists now warn that the progress with the targets can be derailed if poverty, hunger and other social determinants of health are not urgently and comprehensively addressed. Nomfundo Xolo reports.
While men account for only a third of South Africa’s roughly 200 000 new HIV infections in the year ending mid-2019, they account for more than half of the approximately 74 000 HIV-related deaths in the same period. This is according to new estimates released on Tuesday from the Thembisa mathematical model of HIV in South Africa.
Last year KwaZulu-Natal celebrated three districts’ achievement of the UNAIDS 90-90-90 targets. But celebrations may have been premature, as new data shows that no district in KZN in fact met the targets. Spotlight visited one of the districts to investigate.
Over the last decade there have been significant decreases in the rates of new HIV infections, HIV-related deaths, and mother-to-child transmission (MTCT) in South Africa. Yet, there are still staggering gaps between different subsets of the population.
By Marcus Low – Last week the latest estimates from the Thembisa mathematical model of the HIV epidemic in South Africa were published by Leigh Johnson, Rob Dorrington and Haroon Moolla of the University of Cape Town.