The HIV / AIDS epidemic in South Africa. HIV / AIDS policy fact sheet.
South Africa has the highest number of people estimated to be living with HIV/AIDS in the world (5.3 million as of the end of 2003) and is one of the countries hardest hit by the epidemic. South Africa's HIV/AIDS prevalence rate (the percent of people living with the disease) is much higher than that of the sub-Saharan African region overall, and although prevalence rates have begun to stabilize, the South African Government's most recent surveillance study indicates that prevalence may still be on the rise. The epidemic has already had a profound impact on many aspects of South African society and is projected to affect the country's economic, education, and health sectors if more is not done to stem its tide. As a middle-income country of significant political and economic importance in the African continent, the future course of South Africa's HIV/AIDS epidemic will have broader implications for Africa overall. The Government of South Africa established the National AIDS Coordinating Committee of South Africa (NACOSA) in 1992 and created the South African National AIDS Council (SANAC) in 2000. The country's HIV/AIDS/STD Strategic Plan for South Africa: 2000-2005 is currently being implemented. (author's)