Characteristics of patients accessing care and treatment for HIV/AIDS at public and nongovernmental sites in South Africa

By  Professor Sydney Rosen  Mpefe Ketlhapile  Professor Ian Sanne  Mary Bachman DeSilva  |  | 


Little is known about the characteristics of patients accessing antiretroviral therapy (ART) in South Africa. In a random sample of 1069 pre-ART and ART patients attending an urban public hospital, a periurban nongovernmental organization (NGO) clinic, and a rural NGO clinic, 79% were female; average age was 34 for women and 37 for men. Two thirds reported having 1 long-term partner, but most did not live with their partner. Three fourths had completed some secondary school or higher; 47% were employed formally (26%) or informally (21%), and 40% lived in informal housing or shacks. Patients at the rural site were less likely to be employed and more likely to receive government grant support. Relative to the HIV-positive population as a whole, ART patients are older, more likely to be female and have 1 long-term partner, live in informal housing, have reached secondary school, and earn an income from formal or informal employment.

Publication details

Journal of the International Association Physicians AIDS Care