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AIDS Tax

In the medical world, AIDS is fairly new, only beginning to be diagnosed in the 1980's and just barely has it begun to be understood by doctors.It is estimated that this fatal virus affects 37 million people worldwide.Countries that are still developing are the ones hit the hardest.In South Africa alone over 5 million people are living with AIDS or are HIV positive.This large number really plays a role in how businesses in South Africa are affected.
A recent study was done to understand how AIDS impacts businesses.Six companies in Botswana and South Africa were surveyed.These were large, successful companies; 4 of which were subsidiaries of transnational corporations.The companies were in a range of industries from media to mining.Employing between 500 to 35,000 people each.A voluntary survey was given out to discover how many were affected by AIDS and how it impacted the companies financially.
The study found that there was a large range of percentage of people infected with AIDS and that the number heavily depended on the type of job the person held.Overall 7.9% to 29% of the employees were infected with AIDS.Companies in mining and metal processing seemed to be affected the most, with more than 23 percent of their employees suffering from AIDS/HIV.On the other hand, only 14 percent of people holding supervisory or managerial jobs were infected.
The study sought out what HIV-infected employees were costing them.Some of the costs included were medical care, benefits payment, training a replacement worker, insurance premiums and missed days of work due to illness from HIV/AIDS.The annual AIDS "tax" as it was dubbed in the study raged from 0.4% of the annual wage bill at a company to 5.9%.For one company that meant a cost of $11.9 million per year.
There are also many indirect costs of losing an employee to AIDS.These costs were not included in the estimates for the AIDS &qu

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