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01 December 2005

Factsheet 6 : Uptake of voluntary counselling and testing (VCT).

Press Release

VCT is an important strategy for HIV prevention and access to treatment, care and support services. Although overall knowledge of where to access HIV testing services was high, rural respondents and those 50 years and older make less use of, and have less access to VCT services.

Of the 11 838 respondents 15 years and older who were tested for HIV in this survey, 3 586 (30.3%, or just under a third) said they had previously been tested for HIV. About a third of respondents indicated that they had been tested in the past year.

Table 3.53 shows that respondents who have had a HIV test before the survey, had a higher HIV prevalence (16.2%) than those who have never had an HIV test (12.8%), which is a statistically significant difference in HIV prevalence. While this suggests that people who are more at risk of HIV are more likely to be tested, it is estimated that there are over two million people living in South Africa who are HIV positive, but do not know their status.

Table 3.53: HIV prevalence among respondents aged 15 years and older by ‘ever had an HIV test’, South Africa 2005

Previously had an HIV test n HIV + %
Yes 3 586 16.3
No 8 252 12.8

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