South Africa has the biggest and most high-profile HIV epidemic in the world, with an estimated 7.7 million people living with HIV in 2018.
South Africa has the world’s largest antiretroviral treatment(ART).programme. This has been largely financed from its own domestic resources: in 2017, the country was investing more than $1.54 billion annually to run its HIV programmes. The success of South Africa’s ART programme is evident in the increase in national life expectancy from 56 years in 2010 to 63 years in 2018.
South Africa is making good progress towards the UNAIDS 90-90-90 targets, particularly in regards to testing and viral suppression. In 2018, 90% of people living with HIV were aware of their status, of which 68% were on treatment. Of those diagnosed and on treatment, 87% were virally suppressed. This equates to 62% of all people living with HIV in South Africa on treatment and 54% virally suppressed.
HIV prevalence remains high, with 20.4% of people (one in five) living with HIV.7 However prevalence varies markedly between regions, ranging from 12.6% in Western Cape to 27% in KwaZulu-Natal.
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