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International News

Black Life Expectancy in Cape Town Drops as AIDS Takes Hold

March 7, 2003

Black people's life expectancy in Cape Town is expected to plunge to an average of 40 years due to the AIDS epidemic. The study, commissioned by Cape Town Health officials determined that black life expectancy will plummet by 15 years in just six years.

Dr. Ivan Toms, head of the city's health department, said Thursday that the results indicate life expectancy in the rest of South Africa would fall to 40 three years faster. "Effectively we are running about three to four years ahead of the rest of the national position because of our advanced anti-AIDS programs," Toms said.

Released this week, "The Impact of HIV/AIDS on the Population of Cape Town" said that blacks, who mostly live in informal settlements and townships close to the city, are currently expected to live until the age of 55. People of mixed race whose life expectancy is currently 65, are projected to live only to 55 from 2009. Whites were excluded from the public health sector study because they mainly use private medical facilities.

"We are definitely better off because we have adopted a holistic approach. We have been quick off the mark and lead the country in our care, support, and treatment programs for infected people," said Toms. Health officials distributed 12 million condoms in Cape Town last year and plan to increase the number to 18 million this year.

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The report said in 2001, there were 45 new HIV infections a day and 1,530 adults and 251 children under the age of five died of AIDS-related illnesses in Cape Town. According to Professor Rob Dorrington of the Department of Actuarial Science at the University of Cape Town, AIDS-related deaths will exceed all other causes of death in South Africa by 2009.

Back to other CDC news for March 7, 2003

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Adapted from:
Associated Press
03.06.03; Elliott Sylvester



  
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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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