SOUTH AFRICA: HIV prevalence among farm workers hits 40 percent

Farm workers are still vulnerable. Photo: Sonke Gender Justice


JOHANNESBURG, 23 November 2010 (PlusNews) – The HIV prevalence rate among farm workers in South Africa is about 40 percent, the highest ever recorded in southern Africa, according to a new study.

The survey, conducted between March and May 2010 and commissioned by the International Organization for Migration (IOM), used questionnaires and dry blood spot testing to chart HIV risk behaviour and beliefs – as well as HIV prevalence – among 2,810 farm workers in two provinces, Limpopo and Mpumalanga.

Although 80 percent reported that condoms were freely available on the farms where they worked, fewer than half reported using a condom with their last sexual partner, while less than 10 percent of HIV-positive farm workers reported getting treatment.

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