The Impact of HIV/AIDS and ARV Treatment on Worker Absenteeism: Implications for African Firms


We characterize medium and long-run labor market impacts of HIV/AIDS and ARV treatment using unique panel data of worker absenteeism and information from an AIDS treatment program at a large mining firm in Botswana. We present robust evidence of an inverse-V shaped pattern in worker absenteeism around the time of ARV treatment inception. Absenteeism one to four years after treatment start is low and similar to nonenrolled workers at the firm. Furthermore, our analysis suggests that for the typical manufacturing firm in Africa, the benefits of treatment to the firm cover 8-22 percent of the cost of treatment.