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International News

South Africa: Premature Deaths From AIDS Likely to Double by 2010

May 22, 2003

The first "Burden of Disease" study undertaken by the South Africa Medical Research Council reveals that HIV/AIDS was responsible for about 39 percent of premature deaths in 2000. The report also says that if no intervention is made to extend the lives of South Africans living with the disease, the number of premature deaths in South Africa could double by 2010.

By using multiple sources of data, the research team determined estimates of the levels of mortality and causes of death, and estimates of years of living with the disease in South Africa. The main focus of the study was the mortality component -- a measure of premature mortality that takes into account both the number of deaths and the years of life lost.

The country-wide analysis will help policymakers interpret incomplete health data, by providing the best possible estimates of death and ill-health. The causes of premature mortality also helps to identify the public health initiatives needed to reduce the deaths of children and young adults. Young adults are a particularly important section of the population as they are in the prime productive phase of life.

The total number of deaths for 2000 was calculated using a demographic and AIDS model from the Actuarial Society of South Africa. A system that makes use of child and adult mortality estimates based on surveys, census results, vital statistics and the antenatal sero-prevalence survey. The BOD report includes full details of the methods used in the study to estimate the number of deaths, premature mortality and the identification of the causes of mortality.

The study shows that the disease burden from HIV/AIDS does not diminish the burden from other causes, but adds significantly to them. It also highlights that without intervention to extend the lives of people living with AIDS, the total premature mortality burden in South Africa can be expected to double by 2010.

Back to other CDC news for May 22, 2003

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Adapted from:
05.18.03; Sunday Times (Johannesburg)

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This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.
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