The HIV epidemic in sub-Saharan Africa represents an obstacle to productive employment and economic development. Employers in the region are experiencing severe staff shortages, reduced productivity and increased costs due to protracted ill-health and death among their workforce. The scale of the problem has not been fully estimated and the extent to which it could be ameliorated by control measures including effective treatment of opportunistic infections is not well known. Employers and employees (n=108) in seven Zambian firms were interviewed to assess direct and indirect costs of illness to the firms. Information was collected on diagnosis and treatment received, duration of illness, time off and strategies adopted to compensate for absent workers using a combination of questionnaires, structured interviews and focus group discussions.
AIDS Patient Care and STDs (2003) 17 (7) 353-363 [doi:10.1089/108729103322231295]