Original Research

The cost of HIV/AIDS-related morbidity and mortality to households: Preliminary estimates for Soweto

V Naidu, G Harris
South African Journal of Economic and Management Sciences | Vol 9, No 3 | a1095 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajems.v9i3.1095 | © 2014 V Naidu, G Harris | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 05 June 2014 | Published: 05 June 2014

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V Naidu, University of KwaZulu-Natal
G Harris, Durban University of Technology, South Africa

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This article has two main aims: to provide data on the cost of HIV/AIDS to urban South African households and to contribute to the development of a methodology that could be used in later studies. Data on the costs of HIV/AIDS-related morbidity and mortality were collected from a purposively selected sample of households in Soweto on four occasions between September 2002 and August 2003. The sample comprised 61 affected households, which had at least one member with a CD4 count of 200 or less at the start of the study, and 52 non-affected households. Three types of costs were examined – financial, economic and the present value of lost future earnings. The data suggest that the financial costs of morbidity and mortality were three and two times greater, respectively, for affected households than for those non-affected households that reported disease and/or death. Mortality costs far exceeded morbidity costs. The present value of lost future earnings, where the deceased had previously been an income earner, proved to be the major cost incurred by an affected household.


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