There has been a gradual decline in Aids-related deaths, but South Africa has paid a “large price”, Stats SA has revealed.
According to the 2016 mid-year population estimates released by Stats SA yesterday, deaths decreased from 48% to 28% between 2006 and 2016.
“In conjunction with losing economically active adults due to HIV/Aids deaths, which impacts negatively on the demographic dividend, older people are burdened with caring for younger people who are sick or dying of Aids, burying their children and breadwinners while caring for grandchildren,” said Stats SA.
It is estimated that this year there will be 7 million people out of a population of 55.9 million who have contracted HIV. This amounts to a ratio of 13 people for every 100.
While the prevalence of HIV infection rates in youth and adults between the ages of 15 and 49 was increasing, there was a decline in those younger than 15; an indication of a decrease in the number of new infections.
Stats SA Statistician-General Pali Lehohla said South Africa was one of the few developing countries that was experiencing an increase in the proportion of people aged 60 and over from 6.6% in 2002 to 8% in 2016. However, there was a decline in fertility rates among women.