HIV-Aids rate down

Alex Matlala

Alex Matlala

Limpopo has the third lowest number of HIV-Aids infections in the country after Northern Cape and Western Cape.

According to statistics released yesterday by the Department of Health, Limpopo has an infection rate of 20,7percent, a decrease of one percent compared to last year's 21,5percent

Kwazulu-Natal has the highest infection rate at 39,1percent. The rate of HIV-Aids infections in Kwazulu-Natal has consistently topped the other provinces in the past five years.

The levels of population increase and high illiteracy have been blamed for the increase in the number of infected people.

Mpumalanga and Gauteng come second and third with 32,1 and 30, 8 percent respectively.

Gauteng, the smallest province in the country with the highest population, was expected to have the highest number of HIV-Aids infections in the near future.

Limpopo's health spokesman, Phuti Seloba, said children between the ages of 14 and 18 comprised the most affected group.

"Most of those infected with HIV-Aids are children who are left to run households because their parents are either dead or not living with them," said Seloba.

"Children as young as 13 are left to run households in Limpopo when their parents are dead or work in Gauteng.

"Most of them are forced to turn to prostitution in order to get money to be able to put bread on the table for their siblings."