Dr Wilson Carswell, medical adviser to the government’s Aids unit, says about 100 000 South Africans are infected with HIV


The HIV/AIDS ribbon The HIV/AIDS ribbon Image Source: www.cathca.co.za

Tuesday, 21 May 1991

On 21 May 1991 the medical adviser to the government, Dr Wilson Carswell made the shocking announcement that 100 000 South Africans are infected with the Human-immuno Deficiency Virus (HIV). By 1993 the number of recorded infections had increased by 60 percent. In 2012, an estimated 5, 3 Million South Africans are living with HIV.

Sub Saharan Africa has the highest HIV infection rate in the world and South Africa’s rate is highest in the world.  It also has the highest number of sufferers on Antiretroviral Treatment (ART) in the world. The availability of antiretroviral medication has significantly reduced the number of HIV/AIDS deaths in adults and children in South Africa. A survey done in 2004 had reported that South Africans spend more time at funerals than weddings, hair cuts or grocery shopping.


Last updated : 20-May-2015

This article was produced by South African History Online on 17-May-2012

Support South African History Online

Donate and Make African History Matter

South African History Online is a non profit organisation. We depend on public support to build our website into the most comprehensive educational resource and encyclopaedia on African history.

Your support will help us to build and maintain partnerships with educational institutions in order to strengthen teaching, research and free access to our content.