700000 saved from HIV-Aids

Sibongile Mashaba

Sibongile Mashaba

HIV prevention campaigns have saved more than 700000 South Africans from becoming infected with the killer virus, a major study has shown.

Johns Hopkins University and the Centre for Aids Development Research and Evaluation (Cadre) in the US - who carried out the survey - say the study proves that prevention works.

"The infections averted or delayed in 2005 resulted in huge cost savings and showed that 64,2 percent of sexually active South Africans or 16,7 million people practise some form of HIV prevention behaviour." The study also looked at prevalence, prevention behaviours and the degree to which people had been exposed to mass media Aids communication programmes such as LoveLife, Khomanani, Siyanqoba and educational TV drama series Soul City, Soul Buddyz and Tsha-Tsha.

The study's authors, Warren Parker of Cadre and Larry Kincaid of Johns Hopkins University, both doctors, said more investment should be made to continue and strengthen prevention interventions.

Other findings: 69 percent of men are more likely than 60 percent of women to take some action to prevent infection. But faithfulness to a single trusted partner is lower among women and youth.

The study also showed a strong correlation between alcohol and drugs and the number of concurrent partners.