numbers in file over 9999 recorded as 10k, 19k, etc.

I downloaded a data set and just realized that the columns (newly infected cases of HIV by year) have numbers greater than 9999 expressed with "k." Eg we have 300, 1100, and then 21k. I guess this is why R interpreted the columns as characters.
Sorry, this may make some of you laugh, but - is there a function in R that addresses this?
I can do very primitive programming (not in R though) and I guess the approach would be to replace every instance of "k" with "000," and then convert the columns to numeric.
But is there another way?
Many thanks.

Hi! Welcome to the RStudio Community.

If all you're dealing with is converting "k" to "000" in a character vector (or data frame variable) you can do that pretty easily:

x <- c("997", "998", "999", "1k")
as.numeric(gsub("k", "000", x))

[1]  997  998  999 1000

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