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Southern African Journal of HIV Medicine

On-line version ISSN 2078-6751
Print version ISSN 1608-9693


WAFAWANAKA, Floidy; LUBBE, Martha S.; KOTZE, Irma  and  COCKERAN, Marike. Changes in the incidence and prevalence of human immunodeficiency virus or acquired immunodeficiency syndrome in the South African medical schemes environment: 2005-2015. South. Afr. j. HIV med. (Online) [online]. 2020, vol.21, n.1, pp.1-8. ISSN 2078-6751.

BACKGROUND: The South African (SA) private medical schemes environment has over the past two decades respond to the evolving needs of people living with the human immunodeficiency virus (PLWH) or acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). OBJECTIVE: To determine changes in the incidence and prevalence rate of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) or AIDS in the SA private medical schemes environment from 2005 to 2015. METHOD: In this observational study, a single, pharmaceutical benefit management (PBM) company's medicine-claims database of members with HIV or AIDS has been retrospectively analysed from January 2005 to December 2015. The cohort includes all patients identified by the HIV or AIDS-related diagnostic ICD-10 codes, B20-B24, who also claimed antiretroviral medication during that period. RESULTS: From 2005 to 2015, the proportion of HIV or AIDS patients enrolled in the PBM-company increased from 0.63% to 2.10%, and the incidence rate of new cases among the beneficiaries increased 2.3 times. The highest HIV or AIDS prevalence and incidence rates were found in the age group ≥ 40 and < 60 years, followed by the age group ≥ 60 and < 70 years. The highest prevalence rates in 2015 were recorded in Gauteng, namely, 422.4/1000 beneficiaries, followed by Western Cape (149.4/1000), and KwaZulu-Natal (118.4/1000). CONCLUSION: There has been an increase in the number of SA-PLWH accessing treatment in the medical scheme environment. The high prevalence of HIV infection among older members should signal concern that HIV-related comorbid conditions are likely to become a growing component of care required by PLWH utilizing the SA private healthcare sector.

Keywords : incidence; prevalence; HIV or AIDS; medical schemes; South Africa.

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