Towards a New HIV/AIDS Policy: Risk Aversion Versus Opportunity Cost

Diana Viljoen, André Mellet


The HIV/AIDS pandemic is one of South Africa’s greatest challenges. Yet, despite the National HIV/AIDS Strategic Plan (NSP), new HIV/AIDS infections remain high. With reference to the earlier theories of Thomas Malthus, opportunity cost and risk aversion, an interpretive paradigm was followed for this study. Expenditure with regard to the National HIV/AIDS Strategic Plan for South Africa was analysed. The focus of the strategic plan is to reduce HIV infections and also to reduce the impact of the disease by expanding expenditure on medical treatment. This continuous increase in expenditure and the socio-economic effect of the pandemic is analysed. The opportunity cost of risk-seeking behaviour is discussed and possible behavioural change models are proposed. This study shows that, in order to make a significant difference, any HIV/AIDS strategic plan must ensure active prevention rather than passive support. Government must refocus their strategies to incorporate high impact campaigning to make individuals aware of the consequences of HIV/AIDS and reduce the risk-seeking nature of their choices.

DOI: 10.5901/mjss.2014.v5n21p305

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This work is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences ISSN 2039-9340(Print) ISSN 2039-2117(Online)

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