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 Aids Committee 



The AIDS committee of the Actuarial Society of South Africa aims to assist the profession and society in assessing and addressing the impact of HIV and AIDS in South Africa through the development and maintenance of AIDS and demographic models and providing advise on the application of AIDS and demographic models.


  • To conduct HIV and AIDS related demographic research and modelling
  • To educate members of the Actuarial Society on HIV related issues through the Actuarial Society’s education, CPD, standard setting, public policy and research activities
  • To provide HIV related tools and guidance to assist in the main Actuarial Practice areas
  • To inform the debate around HIV and AIDS through appropriate communication
  • To ensure that implications for policymakers can be derived from the work done by the AIDS committee to support the Actuarial Society brand promise of “thought leadership”

Current Members


Members: Lize-Mari Albertyn, Marc Burgess, Jaco Cilliers, Jannie Coffee, Jason Cooper-Williams, Elbert de Kock, Niel Fourie, Wouter Immelman, Clifton Janse van Rensburg, Leigh Johnson, Nathea Nicolay (Chairperson), Svenja Poriazis, Lee Sarkin, Ashleigh Theophanides, Marnus Theron, Lara Wayburne, Ray Welham, Nick Wells


The ASSA AIDS Committee was set up in 1987 ”to assist the actuarial profession (and later the wider public) in estimating the impact of the AIDS epidemic on South Africa.“ Individuals within the actuarial profession realised that a realistic projection of the numbers of HIV positive and AIDS sick South Africans is required in order to make strategic decisions within business, government and civil society. Realistic current and future estimates of HIV and AIDS related statistics are necessary both in countering AIDS denialism and in dispelling AIDS fatalism and excessively pessimistic AIDS forecasts. Actuaries are well positioned to provide realistic estimates of HIV and AIDS statistics due to their statistical training as well as their experience and expertise within the life insurance and healthcare industries.

Modelling an epidemic

Modelling of the HIV and AIDS epidemic in South Africa by actuaries began with the Metropolitan model, developed by Peter Doyle and Donald Miller in 1989. As this model was proprietary the Actuarial Society of South Africa (ASSA) felt that it was necessary for the general public to have access to a model that users could alter to suit their needs. In 1996 the AIDS Committee of ASSA released their first AIDS and Demographic model, namely ASSA500, a simplified and more user friendly version of the Metropolitan model. The model was primarily designed to make the users more aware of the impact of AIDS on mortality, and only modelled a hypothetical population. The ASSA600 model was designed to model the impact on the country as a whole and was released in early 1999. Since the release of the subsequent ASSA2000 model, the name of the model has referred to the year of the latest antenatal clinic and mortality data that were used to calibrate the model (calibration is the process of adjusting the model to reflect reality as closely as possible).

The ASSA2002 suite of models that was released in 2004 included significant changes and various improvements. For the first time in South Africa the impact of five HIV and AIDS prevention and treatment programmes were modelled. The model allowed the user to assess the impact of HIV related information and education, improved treatment of sexually transmitted diseases, voluntary counselling and testing, prevention of mother-to-child-transmission and antiretroviral treatment.

The ASSA2003 model that followed soon after ASSA2002 extended the model to each of the nine provinces in South Africa. This allowed users to assess the differential impact of AIDS in the different provinces, as well as differences between provinces in the extent of antiretroviral treatment rollout.


The ASSA2008 model was released in March of 2011, and is the most recent version of the ASSA AIDS and Demographic model to be released. The most significant changes to the previous version of the model are greater estimates of the impact of antiretroviral treatment in recent years, as well as significant increases in levels in condom usage over the last decade.

For more details on the current and previous models see the Models section.

copyright © ASSA Aids Committee 2011