The Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) and its partners on Tuesday launched its sixth South African HIV Prevalence, Incidence, Behaviour and Communication Survey.
The aim of the survey, also known as the sixth South African Behavioural, Sero-status and Media Impact Survey (SABSSM VI) is to gather information
First commissioned by late President Nelson Mandela in 2001, the study is a population-based, cross-sectional survey of households throughout South Africa.
HSRCs Overall Principal Investigator, Professor Khangelani Zuma, said the study is conducted to understand the factors driving the HIV epidemic and its dynamics and is used to inform policies and strategies to tackle the epidemic.Repeated every five years, 2022 marks the 20th anniversary of the first round of the survey.
The agency said one important addition to the study this year is that a sub-sample of participants will be randomly selected to test for SARS-Cov-2 antibodies to better understand the impact of COVID-19. The data gathered will also determine the antiretroviral treatment (ART) exposure, viral load suppression, HIV drug resistance, and risk behaviours.
The study will take place across all nine provinces and is targeting 93 000 participants from about 25 000 households. According to HSRC, fieldworkers have already started working in communities and will continue throughout the year.
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