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Over Six Million HIV Infected People In South Africa- Finds A Survey

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According to the report women in their early 20s and 30s are the most vulnerable, with 38.5 percent of pregnant women aged 25-29 infected with the HI virus.

The survey found wide provincial variations, with HIV prevalence among pregnant women increasing in all the provinces except Free State , North West and Mpumalanga . KwaZulu-Natal had the highest figures (40 percent) and Western Cape the lowest (15.4 percent).

The report was published on the department's official website Friday just days after the opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) party tried to obtain the report using the Promotion of Access to Information Act.

DA health spokeswoman Dianne Kohler-Barnard said the release of the report following the use of the act was "a triumph".

"If this pandemic is to be dealt with effectively, it must be brought out into the open."

However, department spokesman Sibane Mngadi denied the report had been released as a result of the DA's use of the act.

"We wanted printed copies to be available before we published it electronically," he said, adding the department would release a detailed statement later.

An encouraging aspect of the survey was the continued decline in syphilis prevalence, which has fallen from 11 percent in 1998 to 1.6 percent last year.

(New Extract: IANS)

Further Information on AIDS from Medindia
AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome)
"AIDS is an epidemic disease, a potentially preventable, deadly infection for which there is no cure, no vaccine, and it is not under control." - National Commission on AIDS, 1993

More than 40 million people worldwide, are infected with HIV/AIDS and more than 3.1 million AIDS-related deaths occurred worldwide each year. Women are more affected by the virus than men. Th
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