Impact of HIV/Aids on the workplace. A case study on selected organisations in Ndola, Copperbelt Province

Bachelor Thesis, 2010

111 Pages, Grade: B





List of Figures

List of Tables

List of Definitions

List of Acronyms


1.0 Introduction
1.1 Ndola – The Friendly City
1.1.1 Ndola – Economic Importance
1.2 Background of the Study
1.3 Statement of the Problem
1.4 Research Questions
1.5 Aim
1.6 Objective
1.7 Specific Objectives
1.8 Significance of the Study

2.0 What is HIV/AIDS?
2.1 Causes AIDS
2.2 Transmission of HIV
2.3 Global Overview of HIV/AIDS
2.4 HIV/AIDS Situation in Africa and Sub-Sahara Region
2.5 HIV/AIDS Situation in Zambia
2.6 How AIDS affects Labour
2.7 Impact of HIV/AIDS on business and need for company involvement
2.8 HIV/AIDS and the Law in Zambia
2.9 Chapter Summary

3.0 Introduction
3.1 Research Design
3.2 Population of Study
3.3 Sample Size
3.4 Sampling Frame
3.5 Sampling Techniques and Procedures
3.6 Data Collection Instruments
3.6.1 Primary Data
3.6.2 Secondary Data
3.6.3 Questionnaires
3.6.4 Interview Guides
3.6.5 Observation
3.7 Data Analysis and Interpretation
3.8 Limitations of the Study
3.9 Summary

4.0 Introduction
4.1 Objective
4.2 Specific Objectives
4.3 Presentation of Results and Discussion
4.4 Summary of Chapter

5.0 Introduction
5.1 Conclusion
5.1.1 Increased Costs
5.1.2 Declining Productivity
5.1.3 Declining Profits
5.1.4 Social and Legal Costs
5.2 Recommendations
5.2.1 HIV and AIDS awareness
5.2.2 HIV and AIDS education and training
5.2.3 Creating a non-discriminatory working environment
5.2.4 Condom promotion and distribution
5.2.5 Psycho-Social Support
5.2.6 Voluntary counselling and testing
5.2.7 Infection control


Appendix (i): Self-Administered Questionnaire


I dedicate this research document to my siblings namely Nchimunya, Monde, Aquila and Yvonne for their unyielding supportive prayers and encouragement throughout my years of study and research at the Copperbelt University. I also wish to dedicate this document to my parents Ms. Loveness Mudenda and Mr. Malles Nachibanga who have seen me this far ever since I was born and for being there till this day.


Sir Isaac Newton once said “If I have seen farther than others, it is by standing upon the shoulders of the giants.” I am happy to mention that my academic success has in all respect been dependent on tireless efforts of many. I owe my ability to do the right thing in the academic circles to the obstinate efforts of others. I am highly indebted to my supervisor Mr. M.K Banda who tirelessly guided me throughout to produce this research document. I thank him for all the time I spent with him and for all the patience and encouragement he gave me all along.

My sincere gratitude goes to management and members of staff of National Airports Corporation Limited, Tropical Diseases Research Centre, Zambia Breweries, Ndola City Council, Lubuto High School and Zambia Prevention Care and Treatment who helped me with vital information towards the research project.

Let me also acknowledge the efforts of Dr. Sixtus Mulenga who often spared his precious time despite being so busy to provide me with guidance and information towards this research document. I thank him for his encouragement and remain indebted to him.

I further acknowledge Mr. Owen Stewart Tinkler for his unwavering literature support and encouragement throughout my years of study and research. I also want to thank Messrs Passmore Hamukoma, Timothy Henderson, Alisala Mulambya and Harris Chinyama for all their support and encouragement given to me throughout my study. My special gratitude also goes to Ms Loveness Kambukwe and family.

I acknowledge the encouragement and support received from study mates namely; Messrs Paul Himoonga, Patrick Muteto, Evans Katotonka, Daniel Nkondwa and James Musonda and Ms Christine Ntitima.

You are all my giants and I remain thrilled at your successes both in academic, corporate and social circles. Surely your kindness and encouragement towards my academic achievement can never be measured.

Many thanks and may God richly bless you all!


Figure 1.1: Map of Zambia

Figure 2.2: HIV/AIDS Cost By Year

Figure 2.3: 2007 Estimated HIV Infections in Africa

Figure 2.4: Impact on Business Increase with HIV Prevalence

Figure 2.5: ZARAN News Lead Stories

Figure 2.6: Stanley Kingaipe and Charles Chookole awaiting judgment

Figure 2.7: Supporters of Stanley Kingaipe and Charles Chookole

Figure 4.8: Gender Distribution of Respondents

Figure 4.9: Age Distribution of Respondents

Figure 4.10: Distribution by Placement of Respondents

Figure 4.11: Most infected Age Group

Figure 4.12: Most infected Gender

Figure 4.13: Distribution of HIV cases by Sex and Age in PNG

Figure 4.14: Understanding of the letters “HIV’

Figure 4.15: Understanding of the Acronym VCT

Figure 4.16: Existence of Counselling, Treatment and Care Facilities and Services

Figure 4.17: Employees Taking Advantage of CTC Services

Figure 4.18: Awareness on how to tell one has HIV

Figure 4.19: Mandatory HIV Testing

Figure 4.20: What causes AIDS?

Figure 4.21: Means by which HIV cannot be transmitted

Figure 4.22: HIV/AIDS Prevalence in Organisations in Ndola

Figure 4.23: How willing workers are to work with known infected workers

Figure 4.24: Description of the term Stigmatization

Figure 4.25 Presence of workers that have declared their HIV Positive Status

Figure 4.26 How employees rate issues of confidentiality

Figure 4.27: Confidentiality to matters related to HIV/AIDS at the workplace

Figure 4.28: Challenges of Managing a workforce which includes the infected

Figure 4.29: Existence of HIV/AIDS workplace policy

Figure 4.30: Hiring and maintaining HIV/AIDS infected Workers

Figure 4.31: Revision of the HIV/AIDS policy

Figure 4.32: Extent of workers’ contribution to HIV policy formulation

Figure 4.33: HIV/AIDS Related absenteeism and Death Rate before the Policy

Figure 4.34: HIV/AIDS Related absenteeism and death rate after the policy

Figure 4.35: Death/Absenteeism Rates before and after the policy

Figure 4.36: Productivity after introduction of the policy

Figure 4.37 General perceptions about absenteeism of the infected

Figure 4.38: Cost of maintaining HIV/AIDS affected workers

Figure 4.39: Existence of peer educators, support groups or counselors

Figure 4.40: Extent which respondents perceive the spread HIV preventable

Figure 4.41: Methods of HIV Prevention

Figure 4.42: Support measures for the infected in the Workplace

Figure 4.43 Kinds of support services offered to the infected

Figure 4.44: Partnerships in HIV/AIDS matters


Table 2.1: Regional comparisons of HIV (2005-2006

Table 4.2: Distributed and returned questionnaires

Table 4.3: Understanding of the letters “AIDS”

Table 4.4: Reported Discrimination


Counselling – advice or guidance, especially as provided by a professional in a given field. (Encarta Encyclopedia 2009)

Discrimination – Treating people differently through prejudice: unfair treatment of one person or group, usually because of prejudice about race, ethnicity, age, religion, or gender (Encarta Encyclopedia 2009)

Diversity – The view that the workplace has many different cultural backgrounds and factors that are important in organisations, and that people from different backgrounds can coexist and flourish within an organisation. (Stoner J.F et al, 2007)

Education - will be taken to mean any long-term learning activity aimed at for a variety of roles in society as citizens, workers and members of family groups. (Cole, 2005)

- – A state of complete physical, mental and social wellbeing and not merely absence of disease and infirmity. (WHO)

Human Capital – Refers to an organization’s workforce which needs to be nurtured in order to obtain optimum performance and contribute attainment of its objectives. (Armstrong, 2007)

Negative – Negative should be taken to mean not infected with HIV

Opportunistic Infection - An illness that an HIV positive person gets because the bodily defense system cannot defend the body anymore (WHO)

Policy – A standing plan that establishes general guidelines for decision making. (Stoner J.F et al, 2007)

Positive – Positive shall be taken to mean infected with HIV.

Prevalence – In this research document prevalence shall be taken to mean the frequency of occurrence of HIV/AIDS.

Stigma – A sign of social unacceptability attached with shame and disgrace to something or someone regarded as socially unacceptable. (Encarta Encyclopedia 2009)

Training – will be understood as any learning activity which is directed towards the acquisition of specific knowledge and skills for the purposes of an occupation or task. (Cole 2005)


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The purpose of this study was to investigate the impact of HIV and AIDS on the workplace in Ndola based organizations. The study was conducted on six (6) organizations namely; Lubuto High School, Ndola City Council, Zambia Prevention Treatment and Care, National Airports Corporation Limited, Tropical Diseases Research Centre and Zambia Breweries in Ndola, Copperbelt Province of Zambia.

The study involved ninety (90) respondents from the selected organisations who held top, middle and low level management positions and also members of the general workforce. The numbers were arrived at in order to validate the data which was collected so that almost plausible conclusions could be drawn from the data collected. The data was collected through a self-administered questionnaire, interviews and observation. The questions in the questionnaires were closed ended. Data collected was manually processed and analysed. The responses were coded and grouped to establish the emerging themes in the study. Data was later presented using tables and figures. Purposive sampling methods were used for top and middle level managers. Random sampling method was used lower level managers and the employees.

This study it was learned that HIV/AIDS in the workplace is to some extent affecting the functioning of the organisations in Ndola. The impact of the HIV/AIDS at the workplace is in threefold and these are declining productivity, declining profits and increased costs. Organisations are also with the social and legal challenges as regards to HIV/AIDS at the workplace. The research established that the productive age group of 18 and 40 and those in employment in Ndola are the most affected by the pandemic with females be the most hit in this age group.

In light of the findings, this research gives a number of activities that organisations should undertake to mitigate the impact of HIV/AIDS on the workplace. It also provides workable means to halt or significantly reduce the transmission of HIV in the work place. These recommendations include: condom promotion and distribution; creating a non-discriminatory working environment; HIV and AIDS awareness; and HIV/AIDS education and training. All these recommendations revolve around a well-defined workplace policy or program if the question of HIV/AIDS is to be properly addressed.


1.0 Introduction

The Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), which causes Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS), has led to great concerns in the workplace in recent years. The majority of people infected with HIV/AIDS are between the ages of 15 to 49 and are employed, many by small and mid-sized businesses, by the government or could be self-employed. This raises questions regarding the measures an employer must take to accommodate these employees that are affected by AIDS. Despite the complicating result of HIV/AIDS in the workplace, few companies have established plausible policies to guide their response to this issue.

The Government Non-Governmental Organisation (NGOs) and Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) like many other business entities have recently woken up to the need for workplace policies and programmes on HIV/AIDS. HIV/AIDS is not just leaving a significant proportion of their beneficiary groups infected and affected, but also has an impact on operations of their internal organisation. There is an endless struggle because of loss of staff through sickness, death, care for relatives, reduced performance of staff, rising medical expenditures and discrimination and stigma aimed at workers living with or affected by HIV and AIDS. This problem is exacerbated by lack of information among staff to make informed decisions, and lack of treatment, care and support.

There is absolutely no reason why HIV/AIDS should be treated differently from any other disease that employees may be suffering from of which could even be more fatal and contagious. In as much as there are several other diseases among the working population, AIDS has remained a frightening and threatening disease and has received great publicity in the past two decades. AIDS threatens every living man, woman and child in the world today regardless of status in society. The pandemic is the most serious social, labour and humanitarian challenge of this millennium.

Realizing that the scourge of HIV/AIDS epidemic is now a global crisis, and constitutes one of the most formidable challenges to development and social progress, United Nations (UN) in 2000, recognizing the need to aggressively assist impoverished nations adopted eight (8) targets aimed at spurring development by improving social and economic conditions in the world’s poorest countries a category to which Zambia belongs. At the UN Millennium summit in September, 2000 the world leaders adopted among the eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), goal number six (6) aimed at combating HIV/AIDS, Malaria and other diseases. The UN also recognized that the epidemic was gradually yet steadily eroding decades of development gains, and having the potential to seriously undermine the world economy with its attendant adverse social and political implications.

In realizing the gravity and devastating effects of the threat HIV/AIDS, lies the possibility of overcoming it and its effects. Thus, being committed to adopting a humanitarian approach to HIV/AIDS by promoting a supportive and non-discriminatory approach is effective an intervention to mitigate the impact of HIV & AIDS at the workplace. Having HIV workplace policies and programmes would help to reduce the impact of HIV and AIDS on organisations and their staff, ultimately maintaining the performance and effectiveness of the organisation. The positive effects are worth much more than the extra costs involved, yet many organisations, especially local NGOs still do not respond, or do not know how to respond, to HIV and AIDS within their own organisation.

1.1 Ndola – The Friendly City

According to (2010), the name Ndola is derived from a tributary of the Kafubu River known as Kandola. Ndola is a city at the center of economic development in Zambia. It is located at the junction of roads leading to several cities and towns on the Copperbelt and beyond. One is able to easily cross over into the Democratic Republic of Congo (D.R.C.) to the North and Angola to the West. The D.R.C. is just 10 Kilometers away from the town. The town is about 320 kilometers north of Lusaka.

Ndola is the administrative Headquarters of the Copperbelt. Traveling from the South by road Ndola is transit city to all other towns in the province. Ndola started as a BOMA, (British Overseas Management Area) and a trading post during the colonial era. It was founded in 1904 by John Edward “Chiripula” Stephenson, just six months after Livingstone, making it the second oldest colonial era town of Zambia. With a population of 495,000 (according to the 2008 census estimate), it is the third largest city in Zambia after Lusaka and Kitwe. It is the commercial and industrial center of the Copperbelt.

Figure 1 .1: Map of Zambia

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1.1.1 Ndola – Economic Importance

Ndola used to be the capital of the once richest province in the country. It was home to a lot of industries that propelled Zambia’s economy. Majority of the economic activities ranging from Food processing, manufacturing, copper mining and refining, bottling, finance and banking, motor assembly, cement manufacturing, edible oil refining and many more, which were the pride of Ndola have collapsed though a handful these are still surviving.

Among these companies that have ceased existing in Ndola include; Land Rover vehicle assembly plant, Dunlop Tire manufacture, Johnson & Johnson Industry, clothing industries, Colgate-Palmolive, and Unilever. Ndola's economy shrunk significantly between 1980 and 2000. Many of these closed factories and plants lie unoccupied in the industrial area of the city. According to the Wikipedia online encyclopedia, even though the term 'ghost town' can no longer apply to it, Ndola is yet to regain its economic glory of pre-1980 days.

It is obvious that the closure of these factories caused massive job losses leaving the once employed destitute. In circumstances where employment was lost abruptly the female population especially women and young girls resorted to risky sexual behaviours for money thus leaving them susceptible to HIV infection and thus contributing to its spread.

Because of its huge industrial base, the country’s premier trade show is held here. The Zambia International Trade Fair (ZITF) is annually hosted in Ndola during the first week of July. Exhibitors come from all over the world and from within the country.

Ndola is serviced by regular flights from Lusaka and neighboring countries. The railway systems of Zambia runs passenger and freight services between Kitwe and Livingstone. The railway line goes all the way to Lubumbashi in Congo. The road network can take you anywhere in Zambia.

One mark of Ndola's commercial significance to Zambia is shown by the presence of the only major centre of operation for the country's central bank, the Bank of Zambia, outside of the capital, Lusaka. Every major bank in Zambia has at least one branch in Ndola. The largest insurance group in Zambia, Zambia State Insurance (ZISC), owns many commercial and residential properties in the city.

The oil pipeline from Dar-es-Salaam terminates at the Indeni Oil Refinery in the town. The Indeni Oil Refinery in Ndola supplies the whole country with refined petroleum. It was repaired in 2001 after being severely damaged by fire in 1999.

These factors make Ndola the distribution centre of the Copperbelt and northern Zambia.

1.2 Background of the Study

A nation’s human resources constitute the source of its human capital. There is a positive correlation between the rate of a country’s socio-economic development and the rate of its human capital formation. The HIV/AIDS epidemic poses a serious challenge to Zambia’s development because it is capable of reversing the modest human capital gains made since independence.

According to the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) 2008 report, Zambia, has one of the world’s most devastating HIV/AIDS epidemics. More than one in every seven adults in Zambia is living with HIV and life expectancy has fallen to just 42 years. This has compounded Zambia’s existing economic problems. In four decades of independence, Zambia has found peace but not prosperity and today it is one of the poorest and least developed nations on earth.

Profit making, not for profit organizations and the civil service organisations are made up of people of different social, economic, cultural and religious backgrounds. It is these backgrounds that attribute for the varying levels of performance or productivity of employees. The environment that an employee leaves home in the morning before coming for work could have either direct or indirect effect on the performance of the assigned task at the workplace. Conversely, an employee that is diseased and suffers discrimination and stigma as a result of his illness could lead to depression and stress of the employee and consequently performance is affected However, absence of discrimination and stigma against those infected by HIV/AIDS or those whose homes are ravaged by HIV/AIDS tends not to cause undue stress hence negative effect on performance of such individuals in the organization is prevented.

The impact of HIV and AIDS is felt at every level of society – in families, communities and workplaces– and in every part of the world. According to the UN there are approximately 40 million people infected with HIV today, at least 36 million are in their most economically productive period (between 15 and 49 years old). This portion of society is so heavily affected that it negatively impacts on the size and structure of populations, on the family and social cohesion, on the livelihoods of individuals and on the economies of nations. It is therefore important to understanding how immense HIV/AIDS has been on the life of the organisation if good mitigating programmes of its effects are to be designed.

Employers throughout the world are learning important lessons and are now designing constructive and proactive responses to HIV in the workplace leading to among others improved industrial relations, better productivity, and work environments that advance the basic human rights of workers (ILO, 2000).

Organisations in Ndola are not oblivious to the existence of HIV/AIDS within themselves and the communities in which they function. They have realized the significant role that the enterprise can play to reduce the effect of the disease on the organisation and the community through social corporate responsibility activities. They are also taking concrete steps today to ensure that workers know about HIV/AIDS and how it affects society.

1.3 Statement of the Problem

The Copperbelt today is losing its prime labour force to HIV/AIDS. At first it was not imagined that debilitation and death as a result of AIDS could be more than a local problem and a human loss. However enterprises, cities and the government are becoming more aware and are starting to measure the cost in terms of lost productivity, health and social security costs. Organisations on the Copperbelt have to bear both the enormous challenge of direct costs and loss of income as a result of the depredations of AIDS on the active population.

AIDS has the potential to create severe economic losses in Zambia and has the capacity to upset the socioeconomic environment of the city of Ndola. It is different from most other diseases because it strikes people in the most productive age groups and is essentially 100 percent fatal, giving rise to anti-social attitude towards those that are infected or directly affected by HIV/AIDS. These attitudes are discrimination and stigma by work colleagues, supervisors and managers targeted at such persons. The consequences of such attitudes are poor productivity, absenteeism, labour turnover, resentment, feelings of dejection, stress and possibly early death. The effects will vary according to the severity of the AIDS epidemic and the nature of industry to which various organisations belong to.

Information, Education and Communication (I.E.C) in organisations on HIV/AIDS is often absent or inadequate. Additionally, information on health matters, teaching and counseling on healthy living covering such topics as hygiene, nutrition, sex education, alcohol and drug abuse, smoking, and other threats to health as they relate to HIV/AIDS is likewise poorly covered.

The researcher therefore looked at problems that HIV/AIDS posed on the workplace both to individual employees and the organisation itself. The researcher also looked at the desirable workable efforts to mitigate the impact of HIV/AIDS, on the workplace through better human resource policies, and by enlightening the general workforce through Information, Education and Communication (I.E.C), on the importance of HIV/AIDS in an effort to reduce labour wastage and discrimination and improve productivity.

1.4 Research Questions

The research questions for this document were as listed below;

i) How should organisations and individuals deal with the effects of HIV /AIDS?
ii) To what extent has HIV/AIDS affected organisational life?
iii) How should organisations and individuals approach the question HIV/AIDS?

1.5 Aim

The aim of this research was aimed at investigating the impact of HIV/AIDS and the dangers of letting vices such as discrimination and stigma on productivity at various workplaces in Ndola. The study also explored the roles of organisations both at the workplace and in the communities in which they operate, and their involvement in HIV/AIDS prevention in Ndola.

1.6 Objective

The objective was to establish the impact of HIV/AIDS in workplaces and to assess the effectiveness of HIV/AIDS policies and programmes of the study population.

1.7 Specific Objectives

i) To establish the impact of HIV/AIDS on the workforce;
ii) To establish the effect of the prevalence of HIV/AIDS in an organisation and its productivity;
iii) To examine the effect of the policies and interventions that organizations are taking to mitigate the impact of HIV/AIDS at the workplace;
iv) To examine the efficacy of the existing legislations and issues of human rights as they relate to infection, testing, treatment, confidentiality of persons infected with HIV/AIDS; and finally; and
v) To provide recommendations on the identified problems or challenges associated with HIV/AIDS at the workplace.

1.8 Significance of the Study

This study is important to all organisations given the fact that HIV/AIDS is wide spread and that employees of such organisations could either be infected or in some way affected by it. As organizations need continued productivity and profitability even when they are challenged with HIV/AIDS, this study will help bring out recommendations on how to sustain the longevity of these organizations. The study is important because it will also seek to give clear understanding of the role of human resource workplace policies in HIV/AIDS and the roles of the employee in this regard.


2.0 What is HIV/AIDS?

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO) official web site, HIV is an acronym for Human Immunodeficiency Virus while ‘AIDS’ is an acronym: A cquired I mmune D eficiency S yndrome. AIDS is a medical condition. A person is diagnosed with AIDS when their immune system is too weak to fight off infections.

2.1 Causes AIDS

AIDS is caused by HIV. HIV is a virus that gradually attacks immune system cells. As HIV progressively damages these cells, the body becomes more vulnerable to infections, which will make it have difficulty in fighting these infections. It is at the point of very advanced HIV infection that a person is said to have AIDS. According to WHO it can be 10-15 years before HIV has damaged the immune system enough for AIDS to develop. AIDS manifests a number of opportunistic infections which can be treated while the cure for HIV itself still remains unknown. An Opportunistic Infection is an illness that an HIV positive person gets because the bodily defense system cannot defend the body anymore. Some of the most common Opportunistic Infections include Tuberculosis (TB), Pneumonia, Fungal infection, Herpes Zoster and many more.

According to the Wikipedia online encyclopedia, in 1983 scientists led by Luc Montagnier at the Pasteur Institute in France first discovered the virus that causes AIDS. This team called it Lymphadenopathy Associated Virus (LAV). A year later a team led by Robert Ilo of the United States of America (USA) confirmed the discovery of the virus, but they named it Human T Lymphotropic Virus Type III (HTLV-III). The dual discovery lead to considerable scientific fallout, and it was not until President Francois Maurice Mitterrand of France and President Ronald Reagan of USA met that the major issues were ironed out. In 1986 both the French and USA names of the virus were dropped in preference to the new term Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), a name that the virus is called to date.

2.2 Transmission of HIV

HIV is transmitted through transfusion of contaminated blood, unprotected sexual intercourse, sharing of contaminated needles, between the mother and her infant during pregnancy, childbirth and breastfeeding. The HIV virus is spread from one person to another person by contact of body fluid through the vagina, penis, anus, mouth or open sores of uninfected person.

As earlier alluded to the HIV virus can be in the body for so long before a person gets sick. Therefore, no one can tell or see if a person is HIV positive or not except by undergoing an HIV test. Currently in Zambia these tests are carried out free of charge.

2.3 Global Overview of HIV/AIDS

The HIV/AIDS epidemic is a global concern wielding such formidable challenges to development and social progress, United Nations (UN) in 2000, recognizing the need to aggressively assist impoverished nations adopted eight (8) targets aimed at spurring development by improving social and economic conditions in the world’s poorest countries a category to which Zambia unfortunately belongs. At the UN Millennium summit in September, 2000 the world leaders adopted among the eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), goal number six (6) aimed at combating HIV/AIDS, Malaria and other diseases. The UN also recognized that the epidemic was gradually yet steadily eroding decades of development gains, and having the potential to seriously undermine the world economy with its attendant adverse social and political implications.

However as Kofi Annan, the former UN Secretary once observed, “Halting the spread of HIV is not only an MDG in itself, it is a pre-requisite for reaching most of the others”, there is need for world leaders in their various countries to put up workable measures that would significantly reduce both the effects of AIDS and the halting of the spread of HIV.

The UN through its Commission on HIV/AIDS and Governance in Africa (CHGA) explains that in less than two decades, more than 65 million people have contracted the HIV virus - globally. Of this, 22 million people have died from HIV related illnesses, mostly from AIDS, and 17 million of them have been from Africa. Africa remains the hardest hit continent: with less than eleven percent of the total global population, the continent has more than 70 percent of all HIV/AIDS related cases in the world. As well as a harrowing catalogue of lives lost, the implications of this human tragedy reach into the structure of economies, the capacity of institutions, the integrity of communities and the viability of families. In the extreme, the survival of some states may even be called into question. Already, communities across large parts of the continent are facing a day-to-day reality of declining standards of living, reduced capacities for personal and social achievement, and an increasingly uncertain future. This in turn profoundly constrains what can be achieved today. Meanwhile, HIV/AIDS is also diminishing the capacity of African states to maintain what has been secured over past decades in terms of social and economic development.

The most recent figures on HIV and AIDS show that the epidemic is outpacing action, with 4.9 million new cases of HIV identified in 2005. In the same year, 3.1 people died due to AIDS. (Source: AIDS epidemic update 2005, Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS).

To elaborate how serious the incidence of HIV/AIDS is, in his address to the 13th International AIDS Conference held in Durban, South Africa in July, 2000, former South African President Nelson Mandela stated: “We are shocked to learn that within South Africa 1 in 2, that is half, of our young people will die of AIDS. The most frightening thing is that all of these infections, which statistics tell us about, and the attendant human suffering could have been and can be prevented.”

According to Encarta Encyclopedia (2009), despite the advances in the discovery of HIV/AIDS, many governments were slow to respond to the new crisis. For example, United States president Ronald Reagan did not discuss AIDS in public until 1987, more than six years after the start of the AIDS epidemic. By that time, 41,000 Americans had already died from the disease. AIDS advocates believe that the lack of federal support for AIDS research in these early years delayed the development of an effective vaccine or a cure for the disease.

Not only in USA, governments in Africa generally have been slow to respond to the HIV/AIDS epidemic, or even to admit that a problem exists. Two (2) significant exceptions are Uganda and Zambia, where efforts to halt the spread of HIV/AIDS date to the mid-1980s. The Ugandan program has been especially effective, and the disease there is receding. Zambia has also begun to see infection rates fall among its most vulnerable population, pregnant teenagers due to effective prevention of mother to child transmissions either through birth of breastfeeding.

The impacts of the HIV/AIDS epidemic are many and far-reaching. Countries where rates are very high, such as Botswana, will soon notice a “missing” adult population, leaving the country numerically dominated by the elderly and young. Numbers of orphans are on the rise, an unusual situation in Africa, where extended families and communities traditionally provide childcare. The missing adult population has already begun to affect economic productivity across the board, whether on farms or in factories. The teaching profession has been especially hard hit. AIDS is now by far the leading cause of death among teachers in the Côte d’Ivoire, and Zambia has found it cannot replace the number of teachers who have died or fallen ill.

According to the United Nations Development Programme, the world has been spending huge sums of dollars in the management of HIV/AIDS. The table below is summary of the costs of the forecasted costs is the situation remains unchanged in the Micronesia region.

Figure 2. 2 : HIV/AIDS Cost By Year

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*Costs in the graph above are in United States Dollars

Source: UNDP

2.4 HIV/AIDS Situation in Africa and Sub-Sahara Region

The sub-sahara region, a region to which Zambia belongs, having an estimated 24.5 Million infected has become the epicenter of the AIDS pandemic. In this region alone 2 million died from the effects of the pandemic in the year 2005, which is 80 percent of the worldwide total according to UNAIDS. In this region South Africa has the highest number of infected people with an estimate of 4.7 million. Here 5000 babies are born HIV positive every month. As HIV is incurable, this means that by the time this infant reaches the age at with they are economically productive the effects of AIDS caused by HIV will have began to manifest. Other infants may sadly die from AIDS before they even attain this economic productive age. It means therefore that the supply of labour on the labour market is in the long-term affected. In Zambia today, and Copperbelt province in particular the labour market is seriously being affected by the large number of men and women that are thrown out of employment due to the HIV/AIDS scourge.

The map below illustrates the HIV/AIDS situation in Africa;

Figure 2.3: 2007 Estimated HIV Infections in Africa

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According to the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS in 2005 gave the following Regional comparisons of HIV;

Table 2. 1 : Regional comparisons of HIV (2005-2006

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Source: Wikipedia

According to Wikipedia (2010), natural disasters and conflict are also major challenges, as the resulting economic problems people face can drive many young women and girls into patterns of sex work in order to ensure their livelihood or that of their family, or else to obtain safe passage, food, shelter or other resources. Emergencies can also lead to new patterns of sex work, for instance, in Mozambique the influx of humanitarian workers and transporters, such as truck drivers, can cause sex workers to move to the area In northern Kenya, for instance, drought has led to a decrease in clients for sex workers, and the result is sex workers are less able to resist clients' refusal to wear condoms.

A study by the International Organisation for Employers (IOE) in its 2009 study in Kenya established a number of costs associated with HIV/AIDS. It found out that the productivity of a company can be affected by increasing incidences of HIV/AIDS resulting in the following;

- Increased staff turnover due to premature loss of services of experienced staff
- Lower productivity of new employees who will need to be trained
- The study established that in Kenya reported HIV/AIDS costs a company US$25 per employee annually and will increase to US$56 in several years if the HIV infection rate is left unchecked. There is clear evidence that prevention education will gain you significant long-term savings. Covering treatment for opportunistic infections and providing anti-retroviral drugs for HIV-infected workers can be considered as effective ways to secure the long-term productivity of an HIV-infected employee.
- The quality of labour supply can be significantly threatened as HIV/AIDS especially hits younger people in Africa and these often are highly skilled and during their most productive working years.

2.5 HIV/AIDS Situation in Zambia

According to the Central Statistical Office (CSO), the first HIV/AIDS case was reported in Zambia in 1985. Initially, the epidemic of HIV/AIDS cases was in the urban areas, but it soon became clear that all parts of the country were affected. According to the Zambia Demographic and Health Survey (ZDHS) 2001-2002, Sixteen percent (16%) of the Zambian adult population is HIV positive. The prevalence varies by residence. The Urban HIV prevalence of about (23 percent) is twice that of the rural areas (11 percent). Provinces with prevalence levels above the national average include Lusaka (22 percent), Copperbelt (20 percent), and Southern (18 percent). The lowest prevalence levels are found in Northern Province (8 percent) and North-Western province (9 percent). In terms of gender, the prevalence rates are markedly higher in women than in men in all provinces except North-Western.

AIDS Care (2008) observes that unlike in some other countries, HIV in Zambia does not primarily affect the most underprivileged; infection rates are very high among wealthier people and the better educated. HIV is most prevalent in the two urban centres of Lusaka and the Central Province, rather than in poorer rural populations.

The collapse of copper prices in the 1970's weakened Zambia's economy and saw an increase in the number of men seeking work away from home. The movement of miners, seasonal agricultural workers and young men between rural areas and urban centres has been shown to spread HIV to new areas. As a result the UNAIDS (2008) report found out that Zambia is the most urbanized country in sub-sahara Africa, with only a third of its population living in rural areas therefore making the HIV/AIDS prevalence higher in the densely populated urban areas.

Although the HIV epidemic has spread throughout Zambia and to all parts of its society, some groups are especially vulnerable - most notably young women and girls. At the end of 2006, UNAIDS/WHO estimated that 17% of people aged 15-49 years old were living with HIV or AIDS. Of these million adults, 57% were women.

Young women in Zambia typically become sexually active earlier than men, at 17 years with a partner, on average, five years senior. Women generally have less access to education and money and may encounter problems insisting on condom use.

Lack of money is an obvious challenge, although a great deal of aid is distributed throughout developing countries (Zambia inclusive) with high HIV/AIDS rates. Widowhood also can result in an increased risk of transmission due to a lack of property inheritance rights leaving women in poverty. Desperate people will inevitably turn to risky occupations such as migrant labour or sex work. There is a saying popular among certain women in Zambia: "AIDS may kill me in months or years, but hunger will kill me and my family tomorrow".

According to AVERT, an International AIDS organization’s official web site, In the early stages of the epidemic much of what was known about HIV prevalence was kept secret by the authorities under President Kaunda. Senior politicians were reluctant to speak out about the growing epidemic (the President’s announcement in 1987 that his son had died of AIDS was a notable exception), and the press did not mention AIDS. By the early nineties it was estimated that as many as 1 in 5 adults had been infected with HIV, leading the World Health Organization to call for the establishment of a National AIDS Advisory Council in Zambia.

2.6 How AIDS affects Labour

The Copperbelt province is endowed with natural resources such as copper, fertile arable land and limestone particularly in Ndola which have in the recent past been much exploited by foreign investors following privatization of parastatal companies. The Copperbelt can therefore depend on its human capital. The economy is built by the work of individuals who, collectively, make up the labour force. The development of these human resources entails promotion of their skills through education and protection of their health. Undisputedly, the economy depends on the adequate supply of the labour force. The concern is not only the size of the labour force, but also its quality. According to the, ILO (2000) many of those infected with HIV are experienced and skilled workers in manual, blue-collar and white-collar jobs. The loss of these workers, together with the entry into the labour market of orphaned and uneducated children who have to support themselves, is likely to lower both the average age of many work forces and their level of skills and experience.

In its study, the ILO (2008) it is estimated that between 1984 and 1992 in Zambia, 62% percent of deaths among managers were the result of AIDS-related illness: this rate was slightly higher than middle level workers and slightly lower than lower level workers. ILO observes that its takes time to replace skilled workers because of the necessary training or retraining, and even longer to replace the experience lost as key workers are infected. A recent ILO pilot study of experiences found that fewer than 40% of employers believe they had a good chance of replacing skilled workers.

2.7 Impact of HIV/AIDS on business and need for company involvement

“AIDS is uniquely destructive to economies, because it kills people in the prime of their lives. Especially in its early stages, the epidemic tends to strike urban centres, the better educated, the elite in leadership and the most productive members of society. These deaths leach profits out of businesses and economies. There are already several examples of the enormous impact which corporate action can have in the fight against HIV/AIDS. They exist both in the workplace, which is one of the most effective places to educate and reach people, and in global efforts through advocacy, in-kind support, engagement with partners and direct donations.” Kofi Annan, Former Secretary-General of the United Nations. (12 Jan 2004)

ILO (2008) observers that understanding the immense impact of HIV and AIDS is essential to being able to respond effectively. Employers throughout the world are learning an important lesson that is constructive and proactive responses to HIV in the workplace lead to:

- Improved industrial relations.
- Better productivity.
- Work environments that advance the basic human rights of workers.

Declining productivity results from:

- Increased absenteeism
- High staff turnover resulting in a loss of knowledge, intellectual capital and skills
- Poor morale due to loss of loved ones and/or fear of discrimination (FHI, 2004 p.5)

The combination of these effects on individual companies leads to such national macro-economic changes as:-
- Decreased individual and household purchasing power (lower income), resulting in consumers buying fewer goods and services, saving less money and paying fewer taxes;
- Fewer workers to support businesses, schools, hospitals and government
- Production of fewer goods and services;
- Reduced market size leading to more competition, fewer businesses surviving and lower profits for those that do survive; and
- Lower profits, resulting in reduced national economic growth.

However, according to Rosen S et al (2006; 8) direct costs such as benefits, recruitment, and training can be estimated relatively easily, and large companies can also usually predict the duration of vacancies and the time required for a new worker to become fully productive. Indirect costs associated with morbidity, losses of productivity due to absenteeism and diminished performance when at work are much harder to quantify, largely because productivity cannot usually be observed directly.

The World Economic Forum conducted a Global Business Survey: 2005-2006 and the following is a summary of the key findings and recommendations from the survey- Business & HIV/AIDS: A Healthier Partnership.

Of the 10,993 business leaders polled the following,

- Globally, 22% of respondent firms report experiencing impacts from the virus.
- In hard-hit sub- Saharan Africa, 65% of respondent firms report some impact and 21% serious impact.
- Future concern is rising about the expected impact of HIV/AIDS on firms' operations over the next five years (46% compared to 37% of the previous year).
- Very few firms have conducted a quantitative HIV/AIDS risk assessment (9%)
- The majority of firms where national HIV prevalence exceeds 1 in 5 have formal HIV/AIDS policies (58%).
- Where prevalence drops below 1 in 5, very few firms have a policy (20%) and these are likely to be informal.
- Policies addressing the issues of discrimination in promotion pay or benefits based on HIV status are rare (18%).
- The effects of HIV/AIDS, not surprisingly, increase as HIV infection spreads. As Figure below shows, impacts rise sharply as prevalence passes 5%. When it passes 10%, reports of serious impacts soar, before declining slightly in countries with prevalence above 20%.

Figure 2.4: Impact on Business Increase with HIV Prevalence

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Source: Bloom, D. et al. “Business and HIV/AIDS: A Healthier Partnership?” World Economic Forum, UNAIDS and the American Foundation for AIDS Research (AMFAR). 2006. (Page 11)

2.8 HIV/AIDS and the Law in Zambia

According to Zambia AIDSLaw Research and Advocacy Network ZARAN (2007) many people in Zambia have suffered dismissal on account of their actual and perceived HIV status. The difficulty in addressing such unfair practices is that the reason for the dismissal is often not stated expressly by the employer. As a result the burden lies on the individual who has been dismissed to prove that the premise for dismissal is actual or perceived HIV status.

However, section 108 of the Industrial and Labour Relations Act (ILRA) of the Laws of Zambia makes dismissal on discriminatory grounds an unfair practice. The said section provides that:

1) “No employer shall terminate the services of an employee or impose any other penalty or disadvantage on any employee, on grounds of race, sex, marital status, religion, political opinion or affiliation, tribal extraction or social status of the employee.

2) Any employee who has reasonable cause to believe that the employees' services have been terminated or that the employee has suffered any other penalty or disadvantage, or any prospective employee who has reasonable cause to believe that the employee has been discriminated against, on any of the grounds set out in subsection (1) may, within thirty days of the occurrence which gives rise to such belief, lay a complaint before the Court:

Provided that the Court may extend the thirty-day period for a further three months after the date on which the complainant has exhausted the administrative channels available to him.

(3) The Court shall, if it finds in favour of the complainant-

a) grant to the complainant damages or compensation for loss of employment;

b) Make an order for re-employment or reinstatement in accordance with the gravity of the circumstances of each case.”

In a land mark Judgement by the Zambia High Court in Livingstone, Judge Elizabeth Muyovwe, hearing a matter in which two soldiers complained that they were subjected to HIV testing without their consent by the Zambian Air Force (ZAF), awarded K10 Million each to Sergeants Stanley Kingaipe and Charles Chookole on 27th May, 2010.

Figure 2.5: ZARAN News Lead Stories

illustration not visible in this excerpt

Source: ZARAN April to June 2010 News

Kingaipe et al v. Attorney-General (High Court 2010 )

Facts of the matter in the above mentioned case were that:

“Stanley Kingaipe and Charles Chookole joined the Zambian Air Force (ZAF) in June and July of 1989, respectively. Between 2001 and 2002, both underwent compulsory medical exams without being informed they were being tested for HIV. The men tested positive for HIV and were prescribed antiretroviral drugs (ARVs). However, according to their testimony they were neither informed of their HIV-positive status, nor advised on the nature of the prescribed drugs. They were ultimately discharged in October 2002.


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Impact of HIV/Aids on the workplace. A case study on selected organisations in Ndola, Copperbelt Province
Human Resource Management
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BA, MBA Gift Harris Nachibanga (Author), 2010, Impact of HIV/Aids on the workplace. A case study on selected organisations in Ndola, Copperbelt Province, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


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