An estimated 6.4 million people were living with HIV/AIDS in 2012. This is one of the main findings of The South African National HIV Prevalence, Incidence and Behaviour Survey 2012, officially launched today by Minister of Science and Technology, Derek Hanekom, and the Minister of Health, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi, at the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) offices in Pretoria, and by video conference in the Durban and Cape Town HSRC offices. The launch of the survey was chaired by Nelson Mandela Foundation Chief Executive, Sello Hatang.
The 2012 survey, is the fourth in the series of national HIV household surveys conducted by a consortium of scientists led by the HSRC, including the Medical Research Council, South Africa's statutory research agencies. The first in 2002 was followed by surveys in 2005 and 2008. These surveys collected data on not only the HIV status of individuals, but also information on socio-demographic and behavioural factors that greatly enhanced the analysis and interpretation of the observed trends in HIV prevalence (the proportion of people living with HIV in the country) and HIV incidence (new HIV infections in a given year). The inclusion of novel laboratory methodologies in the 2012 survey protocol enabled direct estimates of HIV incidence and exposure to antiretroviral treatment (ART). The data from the 2012 survey will serve as critical benchmark figures for the evaluation of the current National Strategic Plan (NSP) 2012-2016.