So I freaked out a couple weeks ago when the statistic came out that “28% of South African school girls are infected with HIV”:
- South Africa: ‘Over 25% of schoolgirls HIV positive’
- 28 Percent Of South African Schoolgirls Have HIV Because Of ‘Sugar Daddies,’ Health Minister Says
The good news is, this statistic is WRONG:
Last week the Mail & Guardian used a South African Press Association (Sapa) article on its site incorrectly stating that 28% of South Africa’s schoolgirls were infected by HIV, compared with 4% of schoolboys.
But the fact-checking organisation, Africa Check, reported that Motsoaledi’s speech at a “taking Parliament to the people event” in Carolina in Mpumalanga was misinterpreted by a Sowetan journalist and was then re-reported by other news companies and agencies.
Oh thank god. 28% of girls infected? My brain couldnt handle that.
Yeah, now for the bad news– The 28% figure wasnt right for all of South Africa. It was right for a specific group of school kids in South Africa.
Motsoaledi said on Friday the statistics that were incorrectly quoted were on an HIV testing and counselling campaign, which actually found a small number of schools in the Natal Midlands were particularly hard-hit by HIV. Of the group of children tested there, 28% of girls were infected by the disease compared to 4% of boys.
Uuuuuuugh *headinhands* Uuuuuugh. Dammit.
Theres also this:
The most recent statistics, compiled as part of a 2011 HIV and syphilis survey, which was published last year by the Department of Health, indicate that HIV prevalence among young women aged between 15 and 19 was around 12.7% in 2011, a decrease on the previous year’s figure of 14%.
This is less than half the figure in the Sowetan’s headline.
It is even less than the figure (20.5%) for HIV prevalence among pregnant women aged 15-24, a population group who are always likely to have a higher prevalence rate than all schoolgirls, for obvious reasons.
Uuuuugh. Uuuuugh the ‘real’ stats dont make me feel any better. Dammit. Uuuuuuuugh…