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Cablegate: New South African Aids Statistics

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS PRETORIA 003539

SIPDIS

STATE FOR OFFICE OF GLOBAL AIDS COORDINATOR, JO'NEIL
STATE ALSO FOR G/PDOBRIANSKY, AF/S, AF/EPS/SDRIANO
AID FOR GLOBAL BUREAU APETERSON
AID ALSO FOR GH/OHA/CCARINO, RROGERS
HHS FOR THE OFFICE OF GLOBAL HEALTH AFFAIRS, WSTEIGER
CDC FOR EMCCRAY

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KHIV SOCI KSCA SF
SUBJECT: NEW SOUTH AFRICAN AIDS STATISTICS

1)On 27 July, 2004, Statistics South Africa, a government
statistics agency, issued a report estimating HIV prevalence in
South Africa to be 15.2% in 2004 compared with 14.79% in 2003,
13.05% in 2000 and only 3.82% in 1994. According to the report,
AIDS has claimed the lives of an estimated 1.7 million South Africans

2)The same report estimates the population of South Africa
to be 46 586 607 in the middle of 2004. Without the AIDS epidemic
c
South Africa's population would have been 48.3 million.

3)The percentage of AIDS deaths increased from 6.8% in 1995
to 34.4% in 2000 and is projected to be 50.8% in 2005. HIV prevalence
among antenatal clinic attendees has risen from only 0.7%
in 1990 to 4.0% in 1993, 17.0% in 1997 and 26.5% in 2002.

4)The 2002 provincial prevalence varied from a low of 12.4% in
the Western Cape to a high of 36.5% in KwaZulu-Natal. The
prevalence rates for the other provinces were 15.1% for Northern
Cape, 15.16% for Limpopo, 23.6% in the Eastern Cape, 26.2%
for North West, 28.6% in Mpumalanga, 28.8% in the Free State
and 31.6% in Gauteng.

5)The statistics SA report estimates that 3.83 million South
Africans are HIV positive, compared with 5.3 million estimated by
UNAIDS. The Estimated death toll of 1.7 million is
considerably less then the 3 million estimated by the U.S. Census
Bureau.

6)Comment: Differences in assumptions and methodology underlie
lie
the variance in HIV/AIDS statistics. We expect the Statistics South
Africa report to be used as evidence by those who claim that the
epidemic in South Africa has been exaggerated. Post tends to favor
the methedology used by UNAIDS and the U.S. Census Bureau because
these organisations use various basic data sources. By any measure,
the HIV prevalence in South Africa is staggering and continues to
grow at an alarming rate. End Comment.

MILOVANOVIC

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