Western Cape tracks HIV rate by district

Two districts in the Western Cape, Khayelitsha and Gugulethu/Nyanga, have HIV rates touching 30%. This translates into at least one in four people being HIV-positive.

A disrict survey done at 374 facilities, involving the testing of 5 964 people, revealed that Gugulethu/Nyanga had a prevalence rate of 28,1%, Khayelitsha 27,2%, Helderberg 19,1%, Oostenberg 16,1%, Knysna/Plettenberg Bay 15,6% and Caledon/Hermanus 14,2%.

The average for the province was 13,1% among pregnant women in 2003, up from 12,4% in 2002.

The Western Cape has for the last three years been conducting district level surveys in each of the province’s 25 districts.

Cape health minister Pierre Uys said the district surveys enabled them to plan effectively and allocate resources to the provincial HIV and Aids prevention and care programmes.

Uys also highlighted the finding that 52% of districts reported HIV prevalence rates of greater or equal to 10%. There had been a rapid rate of increase in urban settings, where over 65% of the province’s populations reside.

The HIV prevalence rate in the under 20 age group has continued to rise consistently over the last eight years with the rate highest among younger women.
It continues to increase rapidly among 15 to 24 year old women.

Uys conceded that while the province would continue to build its HIV and Aids treatment and care programmes, the department would have to put more planning and resources into prevention programmes targeting women and the youth.

Currently 4 327 people are receiving anti-retroviral (ARV) treatment at 25 sites throughout the province. Uys said there would be 36 ARV sites accredited and operational in the Western Cape by early next year.

Surveys carried out by the Equity Gauge have for some time highlighted the huge inequities in areas such a Khayelitsha, Gugulethu and Nyanga.

Research carried out the Gugulethu maternal and obstetrics unit showed that

92 136 of the 93 722 women of childbearing age were dependent on public health services. The peri-natal moratality rate per 1 000 population was 32.

The picture is similar in Khayelitsha.

Khayelitsha and Nyanga also recorded the highest death rate in 2001 as well as the highest tuberculosis death rates. It is important to note that TB is curable and simple to treat if people take their medication properly.

The HIV and Aids death rates were by far the highest in Nyanga and Khayelitsha, followed by Oostenberg.

The murder rate was recorded at over 120 per 100 000 population in both Nyanga and Khayelitsha and about 75 in Oostenberg. - Health e

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