Many HIV positive people don’t know their status: Dept of Health

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The Department of Health’s Acting Chief Director for HIV/AIDS and STIs, Petros Khoza says it is concerning that there is still a substantial number of people who are HIV positive in the country but are not aware of their status.

Khoza was speaking on the sidelines of the official World AIDS Day commemoration at Mandeni in KwaZulu-Natal. The event was attended by various government officials and others.

Khoza elaborates, “Internationally, the case load of HIV/AIDS is about is about 40 million, the proportion of that, the biggest proportion of that is in South Africa. We estimate that PLH HIV is around 8 million people living with HIV of those currently as we speak, we have 5,8 million of PLH HIV knowing their status and actually on treatment. But there is still a gap in terms of the gap we still have to find members of our population who are HIV positive, but do not know their status and get to test and put them to treatment.”

Meanwhile, the Human Sciences Research Council says KwaZulu-Natal has the highest percentage of people with viral load suppression among those living with HIV in South Africa.

This data emerged in its 2022 South African HIV Prevalence, Incidence, Behaviour and Communication Survey.

Dr Julia Turner, Senior Technical Advisor at Right to Care, shares more: