Should companies be incentivized for HIV/AIDS programs?
The HIV/AIDS epidemic impact is far beyond the household level. HIV/AIDS has affected companies and economies at large. The HIV/AIDS epidemic has an increasing effect on costs and a decreasing effect on productivity and ultimately a decrease in companies’ profits. The challenge facing companies is that they have to incur costs and spend on HIV/AIDS programs in order to decrease the impact on the company’s bottom line (i.e. Profit) and for the developmental progress and sustainability of the company and the economy. The objective of this study is to analyze the costs incurred by companies on HIV/AIDS and to assess whether companies should be incentivized for cost incurred through HIV/AIDS program. This was a retrospective study conducted in the Tongaat Huletts Company. The data used for the study was the Health and Safety summary reports of the company for the past five years. It was found that the number of employees with HIV/AIDS has increased by 21% from 2011 to the 2014 financial year. There has been a 7% increase in the VCT (Voluntary Counselling and Testing) uptake over the past 4 years and the company has spent R7, 746,971 on HIV/AIDS programs in the past 4 years. While the number of newly infected employees has increased by 21% over the last 4 years the staff turnover rate as a result of HIV/AIDS has not increased. This is possibly due to the increase in the number of employees on ARTs (Antiretroviral Therapy) and access to medication and staff welfare educational programs.