About 66% of African Companies Say HIV/AIDS Will Affect Business, Survey Shows
June 4, 2004
Almost 66% of African businesses believe HIV/AIDS will "affect their bottom line" over the next five years, according to a survey released on Thursday by the World Economic Forum Global Health Initiative during the WEF Africa Economic Summit in Maputo, Mozambique, Reuters reports. WEF researchers surveyed 1,620 African businesses and found that most were "already experiencing some negative effects" from the epidemic, including rising absenteeism and higher health care costs for employees. Although 80% of the businesses surveyed said they were aware of the "threat" posed by HIV/AIDS, only 12% of businesses had workplace HIV/AIDS policies. GHI Director Kate Taylor said that "[c]ore business is really being affected," with companies "seeing operating costs, medical costs and even drops in revenue because of AIDS." She added that the survey indicated that when African businesses take steps to combat HIV/AIDS, they make "important contributions to fighting the epidemic," especially in areas where government intervention has been "patchy," according to Reuters (Quinn, Reuters, 6/3).
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This article was provided by Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. It is a part of the publication Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report. Visit the Kaiser Family Foundation's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.