Groenewald AJ, Walsh CM, van Wyk HJ, van Zyl S and van der Merwe LJ (2011),
Staging and haematological abnormalities of HIV-infected persons in the rural Free State Province of South Africa.2011. African Journal of Primary Health Care and Family Medicine, vol 3, no. 1. Doi:10.4102/phcfm.v3i1.222.
The five countries with the highest HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) prevalence rates in the world are situated in Southern Africa and South Africa.1 The Nelson Mandela Trust and Human Science Research Council (HSRC) study of HIV and AIDS (Nelson Mandela Human Sciences Research Council 2002) was the first to describe the prevalence of HIV infection in the total South African population and to provide a detailed picture of the distribution and determinants of this devastating pandemic.
In a recent national community-based survey3 which included 7249 households and 13 518 individuals, the prevalence of HIV in the general population was 11.4%, with 12.8% prevalence in female participants and 9.5% prevalence in male participants. In formal urban areas, the prevalence in the Black population was 12.9%, 6.2% in the White population, 6.1% in the Coloured population, and 1.6% in the Indian population. Informal settlements in urban areas had a prevalence of 21.6%. The prevalence of HIV in urban formal and informal areas is higher (11.9% and 21.6%, respectively) than in rural formal and informal areas (7.8% and 8.8%, respectively). The peak prevalence occurred in women between ages 20–29 years (24.1%) and in men between 30–39 years (21.3%). The prevalence of HIV infection in the Free State province was reported to be 14.9%.3
In 2006, the prevalence of HIV in antenatal clinic attendees in South Africa was 29.1%, with the peak prevalence (38.7%) in the 25–29 years age group. In the Free State, 31.1% of attendees were HIV-infected, whilst KwaZulu-Natal had the highest prevalence at 39.1%.4
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