More SA teens getting tested for HIV: Less than half actively treated

More SA teens getting tested for HIV: Less than half actively treated

- A recent study found that the number of young South Africans receiving treatment for HIV has dramatically increased

- With 7.2 million citizens infected with the virus, SA has the largest number of HIV-positive people in the world

- The rise in adolescents seeking treatment for the virus has been attributed (in part) a rise in successful prevention programmes

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The number of South Africans seeking treatment for HIV has increased 10 times over in comparison to 2010 statistics.

This is according to a study published in The Lancet HIV journal, which researched over 700 000 youths between the ages of 15 and 19, reports TimesLIVE.

With South Africa currently housing the largest number of HIV-positive people in the world (7.2 million), AIDS prevention programmes have been partially credited for the increase in individuals obtaining medical help.

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Researchers found that less than 50% of the teens who sought treatment went on to begin anti-retroviral therapy, which is vital to curb transmission and prevents AIDs from developing.

Mhairi Maskew, the report's lead author, said that while the number of young people getting treated has dramatically increased, barriers continue to prevent successful treatment.

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Concerns in this regard including worries over the stigma, the feeling that clinics couldn't guarantee confidentially and an increase in domestic responsibilities for youths.

Another interesting finding was that nine in ten people receiving treatment for HIV were female, Briefly.co.za gathered.

AIDS-related deaths around the world have declined since the height of the epidemic in the early 2000s. However, an international commission warned of a resurgence if teens weren't protected.

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Source: Briefly.co.za

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