Labor Productivity and Antiretroviral Therapy in Kenya

Project Description

The Center for Global Health & Development is working to determine if patients who receive antiretroviral therapy fully regain their physical capabilities and maintain a quality of life similar to pre-onset of symptoms. Such information is vital for understanding the broader social benefits of treatment.

In 2001, the CGHD began to study the impact of untreated HIV on agricultural estate worker productivity and work performance in a large plantation in Kenya. The study documented a significant decrease in work performance and increase in absenteeism over the three-year period preceding a death from AIDS. In 2004, coinciding with the national roll-out of free ART, the CGHD expanded this research to investigate the labor productivity benefits of antiretroviral therapy. The labor productivity study looked at adult tea pluckers enrolled in an HIV/AIDS care program at two tea company hospitals in the Kericho District. Interim findings suggested that HIV-infected male workers who are treated with antiretrovirals are able, within seven months of treatment, to perform work similar to what they had done before they became sick. Women workers on ART do not recover as quickly or as completely over the first year on ART. Final analysis based on a larger sample size and a longer follow up period is in progress.

This project is an activity under the CGHD’s ISHED: International Studies in Health and Economic Development.

Project Details

Principal Investigator Bruce Larson
Boston University Co-Investigators Jonathon Simon, Sydney Rosen, Matthew Fox
  • Margaret Bii, Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI)
  • Walter Reed Project
Country(ies) Kenya
Dates of Research 2004–2010
Donor/Funder NIH_Logo_150National Institutes of Health (NIH)