The impact of HIV/AIDS on South Africa was investigated by a July 2003 World Bank report, which added to the controversy surrounding the pandemic.
Presenting some of the report’s theoretical projections as actual forecasts, media reports warned that South Africa’s economy would collapse within three generations if the pandemic was not addressed more effectively.
The report argues that AIDS affects large numbers of people when they are at their most productive. It also argues that the consequent reduction in human capital has a seriously detrimental effect on any country’s economic growth.
Commenting on the report, Stephen Kramer, one of the country’s foremost experts on the epidemic, said that the report failed to take into account: the heterogeneity of and inequalities in South African society; the dynamic nature of individual and household responses to the threat; and the prevalence of women-headed households in South Africa