TitleAntiretroviral Therapy, Labor Productivity, and Gender: A Longitudinal Cohort Study of Tea Pluckers in Kenya
AuthorsBruce.A. Larson, Matthew P. Fox, Margaret Bii, Sydney Rosen, Julia Rohr, Douglas Shaffer, Fredrick Sawe, Monique Wasunna and Jonathon L. Simon
PublicationAIDS 2012. 2013 Jan;.


To estimate the impact of antiretroviral therapy (ART) on labor productivity and income using detailed employment data from two large tea plantations in western Kenya for HIV-infected tea pluckers who initiated ART.


Longitudinal study using primary data on key employment outcomes for a group of HIV-infected workers receiving anti-retroviral therapy (ART) and workers in the general workforce.


We used nearest-neighbor matching methods to estimate the impacts of HIV/ AIDS and ART among 237 HIV-positive pluckers on ART (index group) over a four year period (2 years pre- and post-ART) on four monthly employment outcomes–—days plucking tea, total kilograms harvested, total days working, and total labor income. Outcomes for the index group were compared to those for a matched reference group from the general workforce.


We observed a rapid deterioration in all four outcomes for HIV-infected subjects in the period before ART initiation and then a rapid improvement after treatment initiation. By 18–24 months after treatment initiation, the index group harvested 8% (males) and 19% (females) less tea thanreference subjects. The index group earned 6% (males) and 9% (females) less income from labor than reference subjects. Women’s income would have dropped further if they had not been able to offset their decline in tea plucking by spending more time on non-plucking assignments.


HIV-infected workers experienced long-term income reductions before and after initiating ART. The implications of such long-term impacts in low-income countries have not been adequately addressed.
Related ProjectsISHED: International Studies in Health and Economic Development