It’s not just a job. It’s an infection risk.

The HIV infection rate among soldiers in South Africa’s National Defence Force may be as high as 60 to 70 percent, the Johannesburg MAIL & GUARDIAN reports. In some areas, the picture is even more bleak. One unit in KwaZulu-Natal underwent HIV-testing as part of a thorough physical before participating in a malaria drug study. When thirty out of the thirty-three member unit proved HIV-positive — an infection rate of 90 percent — the drug study had to be abandoned.

And South Africa doesn’t even win this grim race. The overall infection rates in the militaries of Malawi and Zimbabwe, at 75 and 80 percent, are worse still.


Mother Jones was founded as a nonprofit in 1976 because we knew corporations and the wealthy wouldn't fund the type of hard-hitting journalism we set out to do.

Today, reader support makes up about two-thirds of our budget, allows us to dig deep on stories that matter, and lets us keep our reporting free for everyone. If you value what you get from Mother Jones, please join us with a tax-deductible donation today so we can keep on doing the type of journalism 2019 demands.

We Recommend


Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.


Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.