Challenges with using estimates when calculating ART need among adults in South Africa

S Afr Med J. 2012 Aug 24;102(10):798-9. doi: 10.7196/samj.5946.


Background: The Foundation for Professional Development (FPD) collects information annually on HIV/AIDS service provision and estimates service needs in the City of Tshwane Metropolitan Municipality (CTMM).

Methods: Antiretroviral therapy (ART) data from the Department of Health and Statistics South Africa (SSA) mid-year population estimates were used to approximate the ART need among adults in the CTMM.

Results: According to SSA data, ART need decreased dramatically from 2010 to 2011 and was lower than the number of adults receiving ART. Although the noted difference was probably due to changes in the calculations by SSA, no detailed or confirmed explanation could be offered.

Conclusions: We provide a constructive contribution to the discussion about the use of model-derived estimates of ART need.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Anti-Retroviral Agents / therapeutic use*
  • HIV Infections / drug therapy
  • HIV Infections / epidemiology*
  • Health Care Surveys
  • Health Services Needs and Demand / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Models, Economic
  • South Africa / epidemiology
  • Young Adult


  • Anti-Retroviral Agents