HIV/AIDS in Southern Africa

Southern Africa is the region the most heavily affected by the HIV epidemic: about 13 of the 35 million adults and children living with HIV are from Southern Africa. The region continues to be the epicenter of the HIV/AIDS epidemic with about 33% of the world’s new HIV infections among adults, 20% of new infections among children and 30% of AIDS-related deaths occurring in Southern Africa (UNAIDS).

The past decade has seen a massive expansion of ART. Efforts by governments and others have resulted in an increase in HIV/AIDS interventions and particularly ART. In July 2015, UNAIDS announced that the goal of 15 million people on life-saving HIV treatment by 2015, had been met nine months early. In some countries in Southern Africa the number of people starting ART now exceeds the number acquiring HIV.

Operational, clinical and public health research is urgently needed to guide the long-term delivery of HIV care and ART to the many patients in need, including pregnant women, infants, children and adolescents.

IeDEA-SA includes six of the countries most affected by HIV worldwide, including the Republic of South Africa, the country with the largest number of HIV+ people.

Aims of IeDEA-SA

The overarching aims of IeDEA-SA are to conduct clinical, epidemiological and health services research in order to inform HIV/AIDS, TB and cancer service delivery in the region, to increase the capacity for delivering ART, and, ultimately, to improve the prognosis of people living with HIV and AIDS in Southern Africa. The scientific agenda responds to the operational and clinical research priorities identified by the World Health Organization (WHO) and opinion leaders in the field and focuses on questions that cannot be answered by one site.

IeDEA-SA’s potential is widely recognized by information consumers, including WHO and UNAIDS, and the HIV Modelling and MESH consortia. IeDEA-SA is also leading in innovations, from novel approaches to statistical modelling to linkages with other records including national death and cancer registries.

The IeDEA-SA database

The database includes data on more than 640,000 adults and children on ART and 236,893 HIV-positive patients not on ART in Southern African countries - Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe. This translates into a total of 1,629,762 person-years of observation.

©  ISPM - University of Bern 2015