AIDS Disproportionately Affects Working Class in Developing Countries
Nearly 90 percent of AIDS-related fatalities occur among people of working age, making it the leading cause of death worldwide for people ages 15-49. The seven most seriously AIDS-affected countries, all in sub-Saharan Africa, now lose as much as 10-18 percent of their working-age adults ever five years, mainly to this disease. (Industrial countries, in comparison, typically lose about 1 percent of this age group to all death in five years.) Largely because of this rising pandemic, death rates have actually reversed their decline in more than 30 countries.
The International Labour Organization predicts that in the absence of treatment, as many as 74 million workers worldwide could die from AIDS-related causes by 2015. Between 1992 and 2002, the economy of South Africa, home to the largest infected population, lost an estimated $7 billion annually due to declines in its labor force.
"HIV/AIDS Crisis Worsening Worldwide," in Vital Signs 2005, pp. 68-69
International Labour Organization—AIDS, http://www.ilo.org/public/english/protection/trav/aids/