Several organizations have nevertheless attempted the exercise. "According to UNAIDS estimates, in countries with HIV prevalence rates above 20%, gross domestic product (GDP) could be reduced by 2% per year. In South Africa, the Bank of business ING Barings has projected that HIV / AIDS could cause a decline of 0.3 to 0.4% per year of the GDP, "the UN said in a publication in 2001.

The AIDS pandemic is different from other pandemics because it is not transmitted as easily as the flu and does not require quarantine or other blocking to slow it down. So how did this generate losses? And what are the methods to compensate for them?

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    I am not sure why this is confusing. Dead people don't produce. If the per capita GDP is $18,000 (as it was in the US in 1985) and a person dies of AIDS at 30, then it's natural to put that as a "loss" of $18,000 * 35 working years. How a person gets the disease is entirely irrelevant. May 16, 2021 at 19:58
  • Ignoring the huge ethical issues with putting a dollar value on people's lives May 16, 2021 at 19:58

1 Answer 1


Otherwise productive people becoming too ill to work, and eventually dying, is a loss, isn't it? Likewise the amount spent on medical treatment for those people is a net loss, even if it's profitable for the medical industry - see Bastiat's Broken Window fallacy: https://www.investopedia.com/ask/answers/08/broken-window-fallacy.asp

The amounts spent on public education in order to reduce the spread of AIDS is a loss. Even the amount spent on condoms in order to practice safe sex is a loss.

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