Why do Nigerian manufacturing firms take action on AIDS?
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OBJECTIVE: To identify differences between manufacturing firms in Nigeria that have undertaken HIV/AIDS prevention activities and those that have not as a step toward improving the targeting of HIV policies and interventions. METHODS: A survey of a representative sample of registered manufacturing firms in Nigeria, stratified by location, workforce size, and industrial sector. The survey was administered to managers of 232 firms representing most major industrial areas and sectors in March-April 2001. RESULTS: 45.3 percent of the firms’ managers received information about HIV/AIDS from a source outside the firm in 2000; 7.7 percent knew of an employee who was HIV-positive at the time of the survey; and 13.6 percent knew of an employee who had left the firm and/or died in service due to AIDS. Only 31.7 percent of firms took any action to prevent HIV among employees in 2000, and 23.9 percent had discussed the epidemic as a potential business concern. The best correlates of having taken action on HIV were knowledge of an HIV-positive employee or having lost an employee to AIDS (odds ratio [OR] 6.36, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 2.30, 17.57) and receiving information about the disease from an outside source (OR 7.83, 95% CI: 3.46, 17.69). CONCLUSIONS: Despite a nationwide HIV seroprevalence of 5.8 percent, as of 2001 most Nigerian manufacturing firm managers did not regard HIV/AIDS as a serious problem and had neither taken any action on it nor discussed it as a business issue. Providing managers with accurate, relevant information about the epidemic and practical prevention interventions might strengthen the business response to AIDS in countries like Nigeria.
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