Nearly Half of Patients in South African Public Hospitals HIV-Positive, "Secret" Report Says
February 2, 2004
Nearly 50% of all patients in South African public hospitals were HIV-positive in 2002, according to a "secret" report completed for the Department of Health, the Saturday Star/Independent Online reports. The 175-page report, titled "The Impact of HIV/AIDS on the Health Sector," was based on a 2002 study led by Dr. Olive Shisana, executive director of the Human Sciences Research Council's program on the social aspects of HIV/AIDS. Researchers found that AIDS patients have begun to "crow[d] out" other South African patients from hospitals, as 46% of the patients in public hospitals have HIV infection. Researchers also found that people living with HIV/AIDS tended to have longer hospital stays, with an average of 13.7 days, compared with an average of 8.2 days for HIV-negative patients. The report says, "The finding that almost half of the patients admitted to hospital are HIV-infected demonstrates the massive increase in the burden placed on health care facilities" (Terreblanche, Saturday Star/Independent Online, 1/30). The report called for the government to train more nurses because up to 16% of health care workers are expected to die from AIDS-related complications between 2002 and 2007, the SAPA/News24.com reports. The report also said that because of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, "almost half the usual number of beds were no longer available to other patients." The report, which has been "kept under wraps," was leaked to the Saturday Star, according to the SAPA/News24.com (SAPA/News24.com, 1/31).
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Reprinted with permission from kaisernetwork.org. You can view the entire Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, search the archives, or sign up for email delivery at www.kaisernetwork.org/dailyreports/hiv. The Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report is published for kaisernetwork.org, a free service of the Kaiser Family Foundation, by The Advisory Board Company. © 2003 by The Advisory Board Company and Kaiser Family Foundation. All rights reserved.
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