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DK Teyim
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Part 2 - Several trends shape the HIV epidemiological curve

Published on 7/12/2019
For additional information  Click Here

  • Agricultural output, the cornerstone of production in agrarian economies, is decreasing as a result of increased mortality in the workforce, resulting in what has been termed "new-variant famine". Studies predict that in the ten most severely affected African countries, the agricultural workforce will decline by 10–26% by 2020. Bertolt Brecht ascribed these disasters to human greed and folly: "Famines do not simply occur – they are organized by the grain trade." New-variant famine, however, is the consequence of the mutually reinforcing intercessions of human frailty and a social disease. The former from a paucity of timeous responses to the epidemic by the ruling classes, aggravated by communities steeped in stigma, fear and discrimination, and the latter from a mix of biology and human propensity to risky sexual behaviour. The combination of lost production and resulting malnutrition increase susceptibility to disease.
  • The macroeconomic repercussions of the epidemic vary, depending on the industries underpinning the economy and degree of HIV prevalence. UNAIDS postulates that any deceleration in economic growth (as measured by Gross Domestic Product) will be offset by similar reductions in population numbers due to increased mortality and therefore resource consumption. A faster decline in population size relative to GDP should theoretically result in an increase in per capita GDP. Econometric research, however, has shown that AIDS has either an insignificant impact on per capita GDP, or actually decreases it. The qualitative effects of higher mortality are also considerable: the erosion of social and intellectual capital and decreased investment in populations of the future have far-reaching consequences for society as a whole.
  • The major economic impact is microeconomic. Individual households are primarily responsible for coping with the repercussions of AIDS, and as such bear the brunt of the epidemic. This translates into increased healthcare expenses, funeral charges and education costs for households. In areas where stigma prevails, the psychological impacts of the disease increase the burden.
  • Impact on the workplace is also considerable, translating into productivity losses and increased costs to employers due to staff illnesses and deaths, higher health insurance premiums and low morale. In addition, household demand for goods and services may decline due to lower income and levels of consumption, resulting in the contraction of resource production
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