HIV almost halved in South Africa

New HIV infections among South African adults declined by 47% from the beginning of 2010 to the beginning of 2019, a modelling study has found. The modelling results, which were published in the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes, suggest that most of the reduction in HIV incidence since 2010 is attributable to antiretroviral drugs and condom promotion, with smaller contributions from voluntary medical male circumcision (VMMC) and behaviour change after HIV diagnosis. The modellers estimated that the 4 million VMMCs performed during the period had only a modest impact on HIV incidence because most of those circumcised were adolescent boys, who have low levels of sexual activity. However, the model projections suggest VMMC’s preventive effect will have a greater impact over the next decade as those young men become more sexually active (GroundUp, 9 February 2022).