- Over the past 30 years, new HIV infections in South Africa dropped by over 60% — from about 432 000 a year in 1995 to about 165 000 in 2022.
- Although the country has made progress with slowing down new infections, South Africa’s latest HIV household survey, released on Monday, shows that fewer people than five years ago are using condoms — from 55% in 2017 to not even half in 2022.
- Studies show the more HIV prevention choices people have, the higher the chances are that they will use at least one of those. Enter anti-HIV medication, known as pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP.
- PrEP comes in three forms: a daily pill (just over a million people in South Africa have used it), a monthly vaginal ring and a two-monthly jab.
- The ring and jab aren’t yet available widely in the country — only via implementation trials.
- In this Health Beat episode, Mia Malan asks the health department if they will buy these medications for state patients; talks to an expert about how well they work; while an HIV nurse breaks down why staying on HIV treatment doesn’t just benefit those living with the virus.
In today’s newsletter Mia Malan and Mohale Moloi take you to the Western Cape to see how having medication that prevents HIV has changed the lives of young women. Sign up.