SADHS: A Mirror for South African Health

Risky sexual behaviour still a reality in South Africa

Statistics South Africa recently released the South Africa Demographic and Health Survey 2016 Key Indicator Report. The report, which presents key findings from the South Africa Demographic and Health Survey (SADHS) that was conducted in 2016, is intended to provide policy makers and programme managers with a first glimpse of the survey results.

The survey covers a broad spectrum of health-related issues, including fertility, contraceptive practices, sexual behaviour, HIV/AIDS knowledge, ante- and post-natal care, childhood nutritional status, consumption patterns of alcohol and tobacco and spousal abuse, amongst others.

‘As the sex act is central to reproduction as well as sexually transmitted diseases, we walk through the sex forest and observe practices of this social and biological endeavour in order to understand its implications on HIV and AIDS’, said Statistician-General, Dr Pali Lehohla.

According to the Mid-Year Population Estimates, 2016[i], the estimated overall HIV prevalence rate is approximately 12,7% of the total South African population. The total number of people living with HIV is estimated at approximately 7,03 million in 2016. For adults aged 15–49 years, an estimated 18,9% of the population is HIV positive.

Despite this, South African adults still engage in risky sexual behaviour. Among adults age 15-49 years, 17% of men and 5% of women reported having 2 or more sexual partners in the past 12 months. Inadequate condom use during the last sexual intercourse was reported among 58% of women and 65% of men who had multiple partners in the past year. Furthermore, 45% of women and 55% of men age 15-49 reported having sex in the past 12 months with a partner who was neither their spouse nor lived with them. Among these respondents, 60% of women and 68% of men reported that they used a condom during last sexual intercourse with this partner. In terms of the national effort to promote HIV testing, 59% of women and 45% of men age 15-49 report that they were tested for HIV and received their result in the past 12 months.

A more comprehensive and detailed report is scheduled for release later in 2017 and will contribute further towards monitoring progress on the country’s health related National Development Plan (NDP) as well as the global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

For more information please download the full report here.

[i] Download the  Mid-Year Population Estimates 2016 release here