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South Africa: AIDS Mortality Rises 57 Percent

A new report from South Africa shows a 57 percent increase in AIDS deaths over the last five years. But there is continuing debate over the real number of AIDS deaths in South Africa, where social stigma keeps people from listing AIDS on death certificates.

Also complicating efforts to tabulate the mortality toll is the government's lack of records for the cause of death of black people before 1994.

Experts say that while the figures released Friday are not a direct measure of AIDS deaths, young people and women made up most of the rise -- and that mirrors the pattern of AIDS in South Africa, where HIV infects one out of every nine people.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Brenda Wilson
Brenda Wilson is an award-winning correspondent and editor for NPR on national and international public health. She has developed a consistent body of work, examining the link between human behavior, social conditions, health and disease.