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Br Med Bull. 2001;58:73-88.

Demography and economics of HIV/AIDS.

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  • 1Health Economics and HIV/AIDS Research Division, University of Natal, Durban, South Africa.


The rapid spread of HIV in the 1980s and 1990s in the non-industrialised world is now leading to an AIDS epidemic. This in turn is having a demographic and economic impact on these societies. This article assesses the most recent evidence for these impacts. It concludes that, while there is already a real and measurable impact, there is far worse to come. The demographic consequences will be particularly serious. Economic impact is rather more uncertain, and the article looks at the macro-economic impact as well as that on firms. In addition, it is postulated that economics may not be the most appropriate discipline to assess the true effects of the disease.

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