South Africa

Surrounded by nearly 3000 kilometres of coastline and bordered by Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe and Mozambique, South Africa is located at the southern-most tip of Africa and has a population of more than 52 million.

It is classified as a middle-income nation. The life expectancy at birth (for both sexes) is 59 years, below the global average of 70 years.

The major health challenges currently faced by South Africa according to the World Health Organization are:

  • Prevalence of HIV and AIDS among adults aged 15-49 years is 17.9 percent with six million people living with HIV in the country. In 2012, more then 200,000 deaths were attributed to HIV and AIDS.
  • At one per 100 population, the country has one of the highest incidences of TB in the world, with two in three TB patients also living with HIV.
  • Violence, road traffic accidents, cerebrovascular disease, lower respiratory infections and diarhoeal diseases are the leading causes of burden of diseases behind HIV and AIDS, and TB.
  • South Africa has a maternal mortality ratio of 140 deaths for every 100,000 live births, and an infant mortality rate of 33 deaths for every 1,000 births (2012) according to the World Bank.

Contact Details

For more information about our work in South Africa, please contact:

Burnet Institute

[email protected]




Current Projects

  • A GIFT (Genital Inflammation Test) for HIV Prevention

  • Depo Provera and Beyond

  • Optima HIV Modelling

  • Rapid review of maternal health recommendations related to the COVID-19 pandemic

  • The role of female genital tract microbial function in inflammation and HIV infection risk.

Past Projects

  • TB-MAC Multi-modelling Exercise