The Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) is the cause of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS), a lethal disease characterized by the destruction of the immune system. At the end of 2010, there were about 34 million people infected with HIV worldwide. The epicenter of the HIV pandemic lies in sub-Saharan Africa (figure 1.1): with only 12% of the world’s population, 68% of all people living with HIV live in the subcontinent. Although the number of new infections worldwide declined over the past decades, there were an estimated 2.7 million acquired the infection in 2010 [3]. Especially countries in Eastern and Southern Africa are heavily affected by the pandemic. In countries like Botswana or Swaziland prevalence levels in the adult population are as high as 20 to 25%. South Africa is the country with the largest HIVinfected population worldwide. With prevalence levels of about 15% in the population aged over 15 years, the country has about 6 million people living with HIV. Over the past few years, the number of new infections in the country declined, yet incidence levels remain considerable. In mid-2010, about 1.5 million people infected with HIV were receiving antiretroviral therapy (ART), while a further 1.5 million are estimated to be eligible for treatment.

AIDS, HIV, South Africa, infectious diseases, infectiousness
J.H. Richardus (Jan Hendrik)
Erasmus University Rotterdam
The studies reported in this thesis were funded by the National Institutes of Health through an R01 grant to Dr. M. Lurie (1R01MH083539-01 – All chapters), and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation through grants to the HIV Modeling Consortium (chapters 3 & 4). This thesis was financially supported by the Department of Public Health Erasmus MC and the Erasmus University Rotterdam.
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Hontelez, J.A.C. (2013, February 12). The Impact of Antiretroviral Therapy on the HIV Epidemic in South Africa . Erasmus University Rotterdam. Retrieved from