A new report by the South African government indicates more than six million people in the country are HIV-positive -- a much higher figure that previously thought.
The Department of Health says a study of women at pre-natal clinics in 2004 suggests that about six and a half million South Africans carry the virus that causes AIDS.
The figures are in marked contrast to a study earlier this year by the State Statistical Agency, which estimated that about four and a half million South Africans are infected with HIV.
Business Day newspaper quotes the Health Department's head of health monitoring and evaluation, Lindy Makubalo, as saying the variation in estimates is due to differences in methodology. She says the Health Department follows methodology developed by the United Nations.