via PlusNews

South Africa’s HIV/AIDS epidemic may finally be slowing, according to a new study which found a 35 percent decline in the rate of new HIV infections between 2002 and 2008.

Using prevalence data from national HIV surveys conducted in 2002, 2005 and 2008, researchers from South Africa’s Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) and Imperial College London applied a mathematical method to estimate HIV incidence (rate of new infections).

They found that 1.3 percent of South Africans in the 15-49 age group were newly infected annually between 2005 and 2008, compared to 2 percent in the years 2002-2005. The decline was mostly due to a 60 percent reduction in incidence among young women, aged 15-24.