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4,000 teachers die of AIDS in South Africa last year
www.chinaview.cn 2005-04-01 16:10:10

    JOHANNESBURG, April 1 (Xinhuanet) -- More than 4, 000 South African teachers died of HIV and AIDS complications last year, while 45,000 more -- 12.7 percent of the teacher workforce -- are HIV-positive, according to a local press report on Friday.

    A survey released by the Human Sciences Research Council said that no fewer than 11 South African teachers died of HIV and AIDS complications every day last year.

    Of those who died of AIDS, 80 percent were younger than 45 and 33.6 percent between 25 and 34.

    The survey was conducted at the request of the Education Labor Relations Council, according to local daily the Star.

    Head of research Dr. Olive Shisana said the study was conductedat 1,700 schools across the country over a period of 18 months.

    The study found KwaZulu-Natal province had the highest prevalence of HIV-positive teachers (21.8 percent), followed by Mpumalanga (19.1 percent) and the Eastern Cape (13.8 percent).

    Gauteng province was third from the bottom, with a 6.4 percent prevalence rate.

    Shisana said 10,000 of the 45,000 HIV-positive teachers needed anti-retroviral treatment.

    The study found that HIV-related illnesses led to higher absenteeism and low morale among teachers.

    "There are 356,700 teachers in 26,700 schools countrywide, and of the 1,700 we visited, 83 percent of teachers agreed to provide specimens for HIV testing. We also asked about their sexual behavior and HIV/AIDS-related issues."

    The number of HIV-positive teachers was higher in the 25-34 agegroup, and 24 percent of those infected were women in the 30-34 age group. About 19 percent were men in the same age bracket.

    National Professional Teachers Organization of SA president Dave Balt said the fact that so many teachers had taken part in the research convinced him that the findings were accurate. Enditem

    

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