New HIV report finds big drop in new HIV infections in South Africa

17 January 2014

New data show that new HIV infections have been reduced by about a third from 2004 and 2012. The South Africa 2012 HIV Estimates and Projections at-a-glance report was launched in Durban, South Africa on 10 January by the Deputy President of South Africa, Kgalema Motlanthe and UNAIDS Executive Director, Michel Sidibé. Additionally, the Premier of KwaZulu-Natal, Senzo Mchunu launched the Operation Sukuma Sakhe Best Practices Publication at the same event.

There are 6.1 million people living with HIV in South Africa. Since 2009, the government has massively scaled up HIV prevention and treatment programmes. According to the National Department of Health, in 2012, some 2.2 million people were accessing HIV treatment, making it the largest HIV treatment programme in the world. The data show that the number of new HIV infections has dropped from 540 000 new infections in 2004 to 370 000 in 2012.

The Premier of KwaZulu-Natal also highlighted the achievements of Operation Sukuma Sakhe. ‘Let us stand and build’ is a community-led empowerment programme to address poverty, HIV, gender inequality and other family and community priorities.

The programme follows an integrated multi-sectorial service delivery model, which puts individuals, households and communities at its centre to tackle poverty, food insecurity, health and environmental issues.

According to the publication, KwaZulu-Natal is one of the most affected regions—with about a third of the people living with HIV in South Africa, living in the province. 


“Although these are figures we can all be proud of, we must not rest until every person who needs it is receiving HIV treatment and there are no new infections.”

Kgalema Motlanthe, Deputy President of South Africa

“Operation Sukuma Sakhe has allowed us to provide services closer to our people and to address the myriad of social issues they face in one place, instead of at multiple service providers.”

Honourable Senzo Mchunu, Premier of KwaZulu-Natal

“I am confident that through the successful implementation of Operation Sukuma Sakhe, KwaZulu-Natal Province will realize our common vision of zero new HIV infections, zero discrimination and zero AIDS-related deaths. You are changing the course of the epidemic, not only in your country, but also on the continent and the world, by your efforts and achievements in the HIV response.”

Michel Sidibé, Executive Director of UNAIDS