The proportion of the total population in South Africa living with HIV had dropped from 14 percent in 2017 to 12.7 percent in 2022, a survey by the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) showed on Monday.
The figure indicates that there were roughly 7.8 million HIV-positive people living in South Africa in 2022, compared to 7.9 million in 2017, according to the sixth South African National HIV Prevalence, Incidence and Behavior Survey released by the HSRC.
Khangelani Zuma, HSRC's divisional executive of the Public Health, Societies, and Belonging Division, cited a number of reasons, including the fact that HIV-positive individuals were living longer as the pandemic stabilized, which led to the drop.
"These factors include fewer people getting infected with HIV, more children born HIV-negative, AIDS-related mortality, and people aging and dying from natural causes," Zuma said.
The survey also showed that 81 percent of South Africans living with HIV who are 15 years of age or older were virally suppressed in 2022, up from 62 percent in 2017.