CDC in South Africa


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) began working in South Africa in 1989 and established an office in 1995, assisting non-governmental and community-based organizations to address HIV. CDC partnered with South Africa to develop HIV clinical and research guidelines, and HIV and tuberculosis (TB) service delivery programs. CDC currently works with the South African National Department of Health on supporting HIV, TB, and influenza programs, as well as strengthening laboratory, surveillance, and workforce capacity.

Photo credit: Thom Pierce

South Africa map

What CDC is Doing in South Africa

CDC Impact in South Africa

An estimated 85% of people living with HIV knew their status, and 71% received antiretroviral therapy (ART) in 2017. Of those on treatment, 88% achieved viral load suppression.

CDC-supported implementing partners achieved 98% coverage of HIV testing and 96% treatment initiation for HIV-positive pregnant women in 2017. Mother-to-child transmission of HIV recently decreased to 1% at birth.

In districts supported by CDC-implementing partners, 96% of TB patients were tested for HIV in 2017 and 63% were HIV co-infected. Of those who were co-infected, 93% received ART in addition to TB treatment.

CDC supported almost 230,000 medical male circumcisions in 2017 – well over half of the male circumcisions performed during the same year.

94 fellows have graduated from the Field Epidemiology Training Program as of December 2018.

CDC Staff in South Africa
  • 21 U.S. Assignees
  • 76 Locally Employed
South Africa at a Glance
  • Population: 56,717,156 (2017)
  • Per capita income: $13,090
  • Life expectancy at birth: F 67 /M 61 years
  • Infant mortality rate: 36/1,000 live births

World Bank 2018, South Africa
Population Reference Bureau 2018, South Africa

South Africa Top 10 Causes of Death
  1. Tuberculosis
  2. Diabetes
  3. Other forms of heart disease
  4. Cerebrovascular diseases
  5. HIV
  6. Hypertensive diseases
  7. Influenza and pneumonia
  8. Other viral diseases
  9. Ischaemic heart diseases
  10. Chronic lower respiratory diseases

Statistics South Africa, Morality and causes of death in South Africa, 2016: Findings from death notification; Statistical Release P0309.3, February 2019

  • Men Supporting Each Other to Stay on Treatment
    “This is my ‘safety net’, where I feel comfortable and safe to speak,” says Sipho Dube (not his real name), who regularly attends the “men-only” support group for people living with HIV (PLHIV) in Sebokeng, south of Johannesburg, South Africa.
    Posted March 2, 2020
  • Breaking The Cycle of HIV For my Daughter’s Sake
    “My mother died of AIDS, and recently, at the age of 22, I was also infected. But I am going to make sure that I break this cycle for my daughter,” says Pearl Ngcobo.
    Posted February 19, 2020
  • Each one, reach one – how HIV case management saves lives
    Did you know that the best way to reduce new HIV infections is to ensure patients remain on treatment and become virally suppressed?
    Posted August 12, 2019
  • Lessons learned as TB and PrEP pill burden forces sex worker to cycle on and off PrEP
    Has the Determined, Resilient, Empowered, AIDS-Free, Mentored, and Safe (DREAMS) program had any impact on the rate of new HIV infections in adolescent girls and young women (AGYW) in South Africa since it was launched in November 2015? That is the big question that CDC South Africa and its partner, Epicentre, are hoping to answer by the end of 2018.
    Posted May 31, 2019
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Page last reviewed: February 19, 2020
Content source: Global Health