Keywords: HIV&, #47, AIDS, risk management, corporate governance, operations strategy, AIDS, South Africa, HIV testing, counselling
HIV/AIDS employer programmes: a study in risk management
HIV/AIDS is a serious, global phenomenon with its epicentre in southern Africa. Large South African companies reportedly pay an 'AIDS tax' of between 1.8% and 5.9% of payroll as a result of increased costs brought about by the pandemic. Investors want AIDS reporting that enables informed decisions on risk; corporate governance guidelines both globally and within South Africa call for such reporting. However, South African law does not permit anyone to oblige employees to undergo HIV testing. Companies thus have to rely on tests undertaken voluntarily by their employees. About 18% of South African companies responding to a 2003 survey indicated that they offer 'voluntary counselling and testing programmes' and 13% reported they offer 'an HIV/AIDS care, support and treatment programme.' This paper reports the results of case-based research of one such offering of counselling, testing and care. The programme's core purpose is the management of risk.