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AIDS Complications Second Highest Cause of Death for South Africans Under 35

AIDS Complications Second Highest Cause of Death for South Africans Under 35


But rates are significantly lower for those who are white. reports that HIV is the second leading cause of death for young people in South Africa.

Statistics South Africa  released numbers showing that of the 77,822 people below the ages of 35 who died in 2013, nearly 11,000 died from tuberculosis while almost 8,000 succumbed to AIDS complications, while “other viral diseases” accounted for 4,400 deaths.

The figures also show significant racial disparity in mortality rates.  White South Africans, 73 percent of whom had health insurance, had fewer deaths than blacks, among whom only 8.8 percent of whom have insurance.

“Youth from the white population group had much fewer deaths than other groups within this population group. Black African and coloured [sic] youth had higher mortality relative to the other two population groups. Black Africans’ mortality was five times that of the white population group,” said the report.

“Natural causes” like TB and AIDS-related diseases were the most common cause of death, contributing 72 percent to the total mortality of those under 35 in 2013, with non-natural causes contributing 29 percent of all deaths.

“Young females had a higher proportion dying from natural causes (89.6 percent) than young males (56.8 percent),” the report noted. “The youth from the black African population group (73.4 percent) had a higher proportion of deaths due to natural causes. This high proportion due to natural cause of death among the black African youth was driven by deaths due to tuberculosis,” said the report.

The report also said that the leading cause of death, tuberculosis, was ranked first for the African and Indian/Asian population groups while it was ranked second for the what they call mixed-race individuals and seventh among whites. For the white population, the leading cause of death was ischemic heart diseases and for the mixed-race population group it was AIDS-related complications.

The 2013 Mortality and Causes of Death reports "HIV disease has moved from being ranked sixth in 2012 to being ranked third in 2013" of causes of death of all South Africans of all ages. "Of the 458 933 deaths registered at the Department of Home Affairs in 2013 and processed by Statistics South Africa (Stats SA), 51 percent were due to HIV disease, an increase."   

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