Epidemiological Trends for HIV in Southern Africa: Implications for Reaching the Elimination Targets

Curr HIV/AIDS Rep. 2015 Jun;12(2):196-206. doi: 10.1007/s11904-015-0264-x.


Southern Africa is the region worst affected by HIV in the world and accounts for one third of the global burden of HIV. Achieving the UNAIDS 90-90-90 target by 2020 and ending the AIDS epidemic by 2030 depend on success in this region. We review epidemiological trends in each country in southern Africa with respect to the prevalence, incidence, mortality, coverage of anti-retroviral therapy (ART) and TB notification rates, to better understand progress in controlling HIV and TB and to determine what needs to be done to reach the UNAIDS targets. Significant progress has been made in controlling HIV. In all countries in the region, the prevalence of HIV in people not on ART, the incidence of HIV, AIDS-related mortality and, in most countries, TB notification rates, are falling. In some countries, the risk of infection began to fall before biomedical interventions such as ART became widely available as a result of effective prevention measures or people's awareness of, and response to, the epidemic but the reasons for these declines remain uncertain. Some countries have achieved better levels of ART coverage than others, but all are in a position to reach the 2020 and 2030 targets if they accelerate the roll-out of ART and of targeted prevention efforts. Achieving the HIV treatment targets will further reduce the incidence of HIV-related TB, but efforts to control TB in HIV-negative people must be improved and strengthened.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Africa, Southern / epidemiology
  • Disease Eradication*
  • HIV / pathogenicity*
  • HIV Infections / drug therapy
  • HIV Infections / epidemiology*
  • HIV Infections / prevention & control
  • Humans