HIV/AIDS threatens the labour productivity of Southern African economies. With HIV prevalence rates among the highest in the world, the impact of this epidemic on the workforces of these nations is a real concern.
Illness reduces the production capacity of the work force. At a corporate level, companies are increasingly recognising the need to take mitigating action – by providing antiretroviral drugs and health care facilities to employees – to minimise the effects of illness on business performance.
At a national level, the large costs associated with the HIV / AIDS epidemic – both direct and indirect – threaten the economic growth and development prospects of these countries.
The long term value of investments in companies that rely on Southern African labour must therefore consider the cost of HIV/AIDS on the companies’ output.