In 2009 the number of people infected with HIV/AIDS had risen to 5.6 million. Some people dispute this figure and say it's more like 6.6 million.
In 2009 310,000 people died of AIDS. The percentage of infection had risen 17.8% for people between the ages of 15 - 49.
One in three women, 33%, between the ages of 25 - 29 were infected with HIV/AIDS.
One in four men between the ages of 30 - 34, 25%, were infected with HIV/AIDS.
Three hundred and thirty thousand children under the age of 15 were infected with HIV/AIDS.
There were 1.9 million AIDS orphans, some say 3.5 million.
Forty thousand children are infected with HIV/AIDS each year. Most of this mother to child transmission.
There were 79,000 child headed households in 2009, where both parents had succumbed to HIV/AIDS.
Thirty seven percent of those infected were on ARV's (anti retro viral's).
Twenty eight percent of people in the world, living with both HIV/AIDS & TB are in South Africa. TB in SA is highly drug resistant.
In KwaZuluNatal 37% of pregnant women tested positive for HIV/AIDS. Today in 2011 some parts of northern KwaZuluNatal the infection rate is 40%.
This map shows the prevalence of HIV/AIDS in Africa. Starting from the north moving south the % gets higher and higher.
This map of South Africa Shows most of the Major cities, also give the population and life expectancy of 49 years. In 1994 the average life expectancy was 60+ years. Not so high in Western terms but much higher than the rest of sub Saharan Africa. The name Messina of the town on the northern border of Zimbawe was changed some years ago to Mussina.
One of the many forms of AIDS awareness campaigns initiated by the government.
All these figures above are just statistics, none of them tell of the suffering caused by this disease. In our school there are two children that are HIV positive, both in grade 3 and both on ARV's. there might be more but we are not aware of them. Two of our cleaning staff have full blown AIDS and are also on ARV's. One of our groundsmen has lost 10 brothers and sisters to AIDS. There 11 children have now become his responsibility.
Saturdays have become official funeral days in South Africa. On not one of the thousands of death certificates, issued each year for people who have passed away of AIDS, does the word AIDS appear. Only the secondary causes of death are ever given, TB, heart disease, pneumonia, etc. so people live in denial regarding the disease. One our local funeral parlour's reckons that on a quiet Saturday they bury 30 people, usually it's about a hundred. Cities and towns all over are running out of cemetery space. Most Africans will have nothing to do with cremation.
When it comes to AIDS orphans it's usually the aged grandparents who bear the burden of caring for these children. Often there is no one and the children must fend for themselves.
The economic and social implications are enormous. The economically active members of society are those worse affected. It is said that if it were not for AIDS our economic growth could be 1% higher per annum than it is now. Many children grow up without adult supervision and the transfer of social and other values one learns from your parents.
Only God can rectify this situation. None of man's plans seem to be working.