According to the UNAIDS Report (2004), about five million persons contracted HIV for the first time in 2003, the highest number in any single year since the pandemic began. The number of persons living with HIV continues to rise globally, rising from 35 million in 2001 to 38 million in 2003. AIDS killed about three million people in the same year; approximately 20 million people have died since the first instances of AIDS were discovered in 1981. (UNAIDS Report, 2004).

The HIV/AIDS epidemic continues to spread, with Sub-Saharan Africa accounting for the majority of new infections. In Sub-Saharan Africa, it is believed that 25 million people are infected with HIV.

Although HIV prevalence rates appear to be stabilizing, this is mostly due to an increase in AIDS-related fatalities and a persistent increase in new infections. According to the UNAIDS Report (2004), prevalence is still rising in some countries, such as Madagascar and Swaziland, whereas it is dropping across the board in Uganda. In 2003, three million individuals were newly infected and 2.2 million died, according to estimates (75 percent of the three million AIDS deaths globally that year).

Although HIV has no social, gender, age, or racial borders, it is well acknowledged that socioeconomic factors influence disease patterns. In an atmosphere of poverty, rapid urbanization, violence, and instability, HIV thrives. Disparities in resources and migratory patterns from rural to urban areas enhance transmission.

In societies and economic situations where women have limited control over their life, they are more prone to infection.

While prevention of HIV infection remains the most critical strategy for combating the epidemic, care and support for those who have been infected or afflicted is becoming increasingly important. As a result, HIV and AIDS, as well as solutions, must address concerns of prevention, care, and support. (2004, Development Gateway)

In South Africa, an annual study is done to determine the incidence of

Pregnant women who visit prenatal clinics are more likely to be infected with HIV.

Extrapolating from the 2001 prenatal survey, 4.7 million adults were predicted to be HIV-positive — 2.65 million women aged 15 to 49 and 2.09 million males in the same age range (Department of Public Service and Administration).


The HIV/AIDS epidemic has had a tremendous influence on all aspects of life and all sectors. It has the ability to undo a lot of progress. According to the State of South Africa’s Population Report 2000, the Department of Social Development estimates that:

“In 1990, life expectancy was 63 years; in 2000, it was 56.5 years;

Child mortality has risen from 75 per 1000 children in 1990 to 91 per 1000 children in 2000; and

In 1990, the chance of a 15-year-old dying before reaching the age of 60 was 27 per 1000, but by 2000, it had jumped to 40 per 1000.” (Department of Public Service and Administration, 2002:14).

HIV and AIDS are severe public health issues with consequences for socioeconomics, employment, and human rights. Every workplace will be affected by the HIV/AIDS epidemic, with prolonged employee illness, absenteeism, and mortality having an influence on productivity, employee benefits, occupational health and safety, production costs, and workplace morale (Code of Good Practice, 2000).

Furthermore, HIV/AIDS is still an illness that is surrounded by stigma, prejudice, and discrimination. Pre-employment HIV testing, dismissals for being HIV positive, and denial of employee benefits have all been used in the workplace to perpetuate unfair discrimination against people living with HIV and AIDS.

Business is also affected by the epidemic in a variety of ways, including increased expenditures due to absenteeism, sickness, and recruiting, organizational disruption and loss of expertise, and increased health and burial costs. (UNAIDS, 2004 Report) As expenses rise, manufacturing or service delivery falls behind schedule, and clients adjust their purchase plans as a result of their own HIV/AIDS expenses, the disease eventually decreases firm earnings.

HIV/AIDS impacts not only workers on the workplace, but it also depletes family savings and resources. Just as a company’s expenses rise as a result of HIV/AIDS, so does a family’s when all members are infected. As a person becomes too weak to work, one of the consequences is a loss of wages.


The following study objectives have been developed in order to solve the aforementioned research question:

To investigate the content of native HIV/AIDS beliefs.

To determine the impact of stigma on HIV/AIDS patients and their reactions to it.

Not merely to decrease stigma, but to identify the hurdles to treatment and care.

To determine the testing and disclosure obstacles

To determine the extent to which theoretical theories of stigma in the workplace are applicable.


The research will fall under the current National priority area of “Employee Wellness Program,” which addresses the HIV/AIDS pandemic from a theoretical standpoint. The research is expected to contribute significantly to theoretical models of stigma in the workplace in South Africa.

On a practical level, it is worthwhile to investigate the concept of the HIV/AIDS Programme and its implementation in South Africa, as it represents a novel method to treating the population’s health problems. It will also serve as a record of DSD interventions that are currently affecting policy planning at the national, provincial, and municipal levels.


The outcomes of the research can be used by government departments, particularly DSD, to address issues.


The research will be limited to the Eastern Cape Province’s Department of Social Development’s Head Office, where the various kinds of department employees can be found. As a result, the survey included top management, middle management, supervisors/administrative personnel, and junior employees.


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