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Bowen, P, Dorrington, R, Distiller, G, Lake, H and Besesar, S (2008) HIV/AIDS in the South African construction industry: an empirical study. Construction Management and Economics, 26(08), 827–39.
- Type: Journal Article
- Keywords: HIV/AIDS; construction industry; construction worker; South Africa
- ISBN/ISSN: 0144-6193
- URL: https://doi.org/10.1080/01446190802061225
South Africa has one of the highest HIV/AIDS prevalence rates, with 11% of South Africans currently estimated to be HIV positive. The construction industry has one of the highest prevalence rates of any economic sector. To indicate the nature and extent of HIV/AIDS in the SA construction industry and to establish the degree of association between certain risk factors and the prevalence of HIV/AIDS, the results of HIV tests on 10 243 construction employees drawn from 55 companies nationwide are reported. In addition to the HIV test, a test for tuberculosis (TB) was conducted but proved inconclusive. Permanently employed, semi-skilled operators and drivers, as well as skilled employees, have the highest prevalence rate of HIV/AIDS; even greater than casual labourers. The group displaying the next highest prevalence is temporarily employed general labourers. With regard to age, middle-aged employees were shown to be the most at risk. Geographically, KwaZulu-Natal exhibits the highest HIV prevalence rate, with the Western Cape the lowest. It is recommended that a compulsory, industry-wide initiative be adopted, funded via levies, involving education, testing and treatment programmes supported via formal certification as part of the completion of work certification process.