South Africa’s AIDS epidemic is spreading quickly among the country’s richest and best educated people, said researchers by the Markinor polling firm and the University of South Africa (UNISA).
Researchers showed a rapid increase in HIV infections in professional people and those with full-time employment – both key to South Africa’s hopes to spur economic development, reported by Andrew Quinn, Reuters.
“The high risk group is growing, it is getting older and it is getting richer,” said Carel van Aardt, director of UNISA’s Bureau of Market Research. “This could represent a whole new wave of the epidemic.”
The study challenges widespread assumptions about South Africa’s HIV/AIDS crisis, which is often described as a disease of the rural poor who lack access to information, treatment and basic health services. South Africa now has some 5.5 million HIV-positive people out of a total population of some 45 million, giving it an estimated overall prevalence rate of about 11 percent and one of the worst AIDS caseloads in the world.