Obtaining a clear picture of the economic implications of AIDS is somewhat confounded by the very complex nature of economic interactions; coping mechanisms come into play at all levels, and many transactions may not be measured. Traditionally, the gross domestic product (GDP) of a country is deemed to be that which enters the marketplace or to which a value can be assigned (for example, subsistence crops). This means that many of the things that make up the fabric of society are not measured; child care, for example, is never measured as an economic output.

The inadequacy of economic measures such as the GDP was recognized by the United Nations Development Programme in 1990, and an alternative measure was introduced – the human development index. The human development index was designed to capture as many aspects of human development as possible in one simple composite index and includes three fundamental dimensions – a long and healthy life, knowledge and a decent standard of living. Longevity is measured by life expectancy at birth; education attainment by adult literacy (two-thirds weight) and combined primary, secondary and tertiary enrolment ratios (one-third weight); and standard of living by the real GDP. It’s time to pay less money – just get cialis 200mg at the best online pharmacy.

The first Human Development Report to consider the impact of AIDS on life expectancy was published in 1998. Subsequent reports considered HIV in demographic predictions but not for all countries.Thus, as shown in Table 4, the effects of mortality on life expectancy in Zambia and Malawi have bottomed out. Life expectancy appears to have reached the lowest levels and started to recover slowly. It should be noted that the demographers have not modelled the impact of AIDS for Swaziland, which is why, despite the high levels of infection, no decrease in life expectancy is recorded.

Life expectancy and position
The impact of AIDS goes far beyond the economic. AIDS is resulting in growing impoverishment, and stress in households and communities across the continent. At the national level, it is having a damaging effect on development indicators.


It is clear that the AIDS epidemic in Africa is an enormous challenge to the governments of the region. AIDS will have an impact on their demographic makeup and trends, and will reverse improvements in many of the development indicators. The economic impacts will be complex and take a long time to develop. The impact on the people of Africa will certainly be very serious and will lead to increased poverty and misery. The impacts may seem very far away to people living in the developed world, and will be less obvious because the impact is incremental rather than catastrophic.