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International News

South Africa: HIV Likely Culprit for High Death Rate

June 18, 2007

On Friday, Statistics South Africa (SSA) reported figures showing HIV/AIDS mortality has increased, especially among adults ages 30-34 and children under age four.

The leading reported cause of death was tuberculosis for all provinces except Free State and Limpopo. But HIV was among the top 10 causes of death in Western Cape, KwaZulu-Natal, Gauteng, and Mpumalanga. "Among the 10 leading causes of death, the diseases that showed higher increases in the number of deaths between 2004 and 2005" were HIV and diabetes mellitus, said SSA's report.

SSA said the research, though not HIV/AIDS-specific, gave "evidence that HIV may be contributing to the increase in the level of mortality of prime-aged adults, given the increase in the number of deaths due to associated diseases."

HIV was among the top 10 causes of death for women but not for men. Women saw a 3.9 percent increase in deaths between 2004 and 2005, compared to 2.7 percent for males.

Growth in AIDS mortality may be slowing, said David Bourne, a University of Cape Town statistician who said SSA data were gathered from official death certificates. "While it is at an all-time high among young adults, deaths are not increasing as fast as we saw them in the 1990s, which is good news," he said.

The highest mortality rate was recorded among ages 0-4, and the leading causes of death for children ages 1-4 were intestinal diseases, followed by flu, pneumonia, malnutrition, TB, and HIV. SSA noted HIV/AIDS was not among the top 10 causes of death for ages 0-14, but it was for children ages 1-4.

Back to other news for June 2007

Adapted from:
Business Day (Johannesburg)
06.16.07; Chantelle Benjamin

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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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