Stigma, Social Relationship and HIV Testing in the Workplace: Evidence from South Africa
This paper explores whether a worker's unwillingness to make his/her HIV-positive status or test-taking experience known by colleagues impedes his/her decision to test for HIV. After analyzing the new survey data provided by employees working for a large multinational enterprise in South Africa (2009-2010), this study finds that this unwillingness is negatively associated with test-taking (at the enterprise's on-site clinic) of workers who are extensively networked with close colleagues (i.e., know their phone numbers). It appears that the expected disutility associated with HIV/AIDS-related stigma prohibits test uptake. When introducing HIV counseling and testing programs into a corporate sector, providing all workers with an excuse to test in the workplace and/or inducing them to privately test outside the workplace may be effective in encouraging the uptake.
Keywords: Corporate sector, Disclosure concern, Discrimination, HIV/AIDS, Perceived stigma, Social network
JEL classification: D83, I12, M14, M54
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