Rapid surveillance of AIDS mortality in South Africa
Ria Laubscher, Medical Research Council of South Africa
David Bourne, Medical Research Council of South Africa
Despite the fact that about 85% of deaths are registered in South Africa (Dorrington, Moultrie and Timaeus 2004), the cause of deaths statistics cannot be relied upon to provide an accurate picture of AIDS mortality due to misclassification of HIV as a cause of mortality. A rapid surveillance system has been established based on deaths of people who are on the population register to monitor trends in the age and sex distribution of deaths. Increases in the numbers of deaths were particularly marked for young adult ages and differs for men and women and started to stagnate after 2004. Comparison with estimates from the ASSA2003 model confirms the pattern by age but indicates lower numbers of deaths being observed than projected by the model in the most recent years and is indicative of the introduction of ARV treatment.