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HIV/AIDS

HIV/AIDS Research Among Key Populations

The UNAIDS (2018) report indicates that key populations and their sexual partners account for 47% of new HIV infections globally and that 16% of new HIV infections are in eastern and southern Africa. The report further states that the risk of acquiring HIV is 27 times higher among men who have sex with men (MSM), 23 times higher among people who inject drugs (PWID) and 13 times higher for female sex workers.

The Aurum Institute is currently conducting several implementation research studies among MSM, FSWs and inmates in South Africa.

The Aurum Institute Director: HIV/AIDS Research, Tonderai Mabuto, is collaborating with Annova Health Research and are funded by the CDC/PEPFAR through the Health Systems Division to conduct a national BioBehavioural Survey (BBS) of MSM in South Africa. This is the second wave of the South African Men’s Health Study (SAMHS). The SA Health Men’s Study is a follow-up survey to conduct a population size estimation and an HIV prevalence, Viral Load Suppression, risky behaviours of men who have sex with men in South Africa. This is a Biological and Behavioural survey of 2,000 MSM across 3 sites (Johannesburg, Cape Town, Mahikeng ) using Respondent Driven Sampling design to identify the target group. The study started late in 2018 and the protocol was under review by the Institutional Review Board (IRB) of the CDC in Atlanta, Georgia.

A previous study found that HIV prevalence among MSM in South Africa was around 26.8%. This varied geographically but was reported to have risen by more than 10% in Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban since 2008.

The Aurum Institute Director: HIV/AIDS Research, Tonderai Mabuto, is collaborating with Annova Health Research and is funded by the CDC/PEPFAR through the Health Systems Division to conduct a national bio-behavioural survey of Female Sex Workers in South Africa.

The objectives of this bio-behavioural survey is to 1) Measure the prevalence of HIV among FSW within the three selected South African cities, 2) Identify risk behaviours for HIV and STIs among FSW within the three selected South African cities, 3) Estimate the population size and distribution of FSW within the three selected South African cities and 4) Assess current prevention/treatment program utilization among FSW within the three selected South African cities. This study was conducted in Durban, Johannesburg & Cape Town in 2018. At the end of 2018, data had been analysed and preliminary results had been shared with stakeholders for validation.

In the survey conducted earlier, HIV prevalence among sex workers was estimated at 57.7%, although this varied between areas, with prevalence estimated at 71.8% in Johannesburg, 53.5% in Durban and 39.7% in Cape Town.