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Contrary to popular belief, every country in Africa does not have soaring infection rates. For example, west and central Africa have HIV prevalence rates that vary from 5% to about 13%. The country of Senegal only has a rate between 1%-2% (Ng, Hawlan, 1999).Unfortunately southern Africa has not faired as well. Four countries have HIV prevalence rates that surpass 30%. “Those countries are Botswana (37.5%), Lesotho (31.5%), Swaziland (38.6%) and Zimbabwe (33.7%)” (Avert.org, 2004). The reasons some countries such as Senegal have lower infection rates is because their government has taken an active role in preventing the disease from spreading. In Senegal, the government has set aside a budget to implement their plan against AIDS.
The AIDS epidemic is taking its toll on the economies of many African nations. People between the ages of 15-49 make up the bulk that is affected with HIV or AIDS. This just so happens to be the ages that most people work. Many companies experience losses in productivity because those stricken with the disease are forced to miss work because they are sick. “Comparative studies of East African businesses have shown that absenteeism can account for as much as 25-54% of a company costs” (Avert.org, 2004). Companies are also suffering losses with the costs of healthcare and funerals.
Some companies are implementing HIV/AIDS programs. With these programs they distribute condoms and have awareness campaigns to try and prevent further infections. In South Africa, the South African Business Coalition on HIV & AIDS is made up of small companies that have implemented ways to prevent AIDS. 18% of the companies offer counseling and HIV testing and another 6% give anti-viral therapy to their employees at work, (SABCOHA, 2004). All of this is not hurting the companies in a major way. Only 32% reported that their labor costs increased. This goes to show that more can be done by without a dramatic increase in their labor costs.
AIDS and HIV not only

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