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The World in Medicine
August 16, 2006

AIDS in South Africa

JAMA. 2006;296(7):759. doi:10.1001/jama.296.7.759-c

New data suggest that the incidence of new infections in South Africa may be leveling off, according to a report from the country's Department of Health (http://www.doh.gov.za/docs/reports/2004/hiv-syphilis.pdf).

The Department of Health’s report, which presented the results of a 2005 antenatal survey in all 9 of South Africa's provinces, found that about 30.2% of pregnant women attending antenatal clinics for the first time were infected with HIV compared with 29.5% in 2004. Estimated HIV prevalence among females in their teens was 15.9% compared with 16.1% in 2004—not a statistically significant decline “but may be an indicator of declines in HIV prevalence in this age group,” the report noted. “This might imply a sustained change in behavior among young people, including engaging in safer sexual practices such as being in mutually faithful relationships.”

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