South Africa - Prevalence of HIV, total (% of population ages 15-49)

Prevalence of HIV, total (% of population ages 15-49) in South Africa was 20.40 as of 2018. Its highest value over the past 28 years was 20.50 in 2017, while its lowest value was 0.40 in 1990.

Definition: Prevalence of HIV refers to the percentage of people ages 15-49 who are infected with HIV.

Source: UNAIDS estimates.

See also:

Year Value
1990 0.40
1991 0.70
1992 1.20
1993 2.00
1994 3.10
1995 4.50
1996 6.20
1997 8.00
1998 9.70
1999 11.30
2000 12.60
2001 13.80
2002 14.70
2003 15.50
2004 16.20
2005 16.80
2006 17.30
2007 17.70
2008 18.10
2009 18.50
2010 18.90
2011 19.30
2012 19.60
2013 19.90
2014 20.10
2015 20.30
2016 20.40
2017 20.50
2018 20.40

Limitations and Exceptions: The limited availability of data on health status is a major constraint in assessing the health situation in developing countries. Surveillance data are lacking for many major public health concerns. Estimates of prevalence and incidence are available for some diseases but are often unreliable and incomplete. National health authorities differ widely in capacity and willingness to collect or report information.

Statistical Concept and Methodology: HIV prevalence rates reflect the rate of HIV infection in each country's population. Low national prevalence rates can be misleading, however. They often disguise epidemics that are initially concentrated in certain localities or population groups and threaten to spill over into the wider population. In many developing countries most new infections occur in young adults, with young women especially vulnerable. Data on HIV are from the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS). Changes in procedures and assumptions for estimating the data and better coordination with countries have resulted in improved estimates of HIV and AIDS. The models, which are routinely updated, track the course of HIV epidemics and their impact, making full use of information in HIV prevalence trends from surveillance data as well as survey data. The models take into account reduced infectivity among people receiving antiretroviral therapy (which is having a larger impact on HIV prevalence and allowing HIV-positive people to live longer) and allow for changes in urbanization over time in generalized epidemics. The estimates include plausibility bounds, which reflect the certainty associated with each of the estimates.

Aggregation method: Weighted average

Periodicity: Annual


Topic: Health Indicators

Sub-Topic: Risk factors