HSRC to Unveil Results of Comprehensive South African HIV Survey

PRETORIA – The Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) is set to release the results of its comprehensive study on HIV prevalence, incidence, and behavior in South Africa next week.

According to South African Government News Agency, the findings, known as the sixth South African Behavioural, Sero-status, and Media Impact Survey (SABSSM VI), will be officially released in an event hosted by HSRC CEO Professor Sarah Mosoetsa, Higher Education, Science and Innovation Minister Dr. Blade Nzimande, and Department of Health Deputy Minister Dr. Sibongiseni Dhlomo. The survey, first initiated by former President Nelson Mandela in 2001, is a critical tool in understanding the HIV epidemic in South Africa.

The study represents a population-based, cross-sectional survey conducted across households nationwide. It gathers key information on HIV incidence, prevalence, and related indicators, offering insights into the current state of the epidemic in South Africa.

This 2022 survey, marking the sixth iteration in the series, involved participants of all ages from over 27,000 households across the nine provinces of South Africa. It focused on various HIV indicators, social and behavioral factors, and access to medical interventions within the country.

The SABSSM VI was led by the HSRC in collaboration with various partners and received funding from the United States President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). It also involved technical collaboration with entities like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC), National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD), University of Cape Town (UCT), South African National AIDS Council (SANAC), and the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV and AIDS (UNAIDS).

Established in 1968, the HSRC has evolved into the largest research institute in the social sciences and humanities on the African continent, focusing on public research in areas vital to development. The research activities and structures of the HSRC are closely aligned with South Africa’s national development priorities.

The results of this pivotal study will be unveiled at the NICD PRF Training Centre in Sandringham, Pretoria, on Monday, 27 November 2023, providing valuable data to guide future HIV/AIDS policy and intervention strategies in South Africa.