Articles

Benefits and costs of HIV testing

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Science  28 Jun 1991:
Vol. 252, Issue 5014, pp. 1798-1804
DOI: 10.1126/science.1829547

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Abstract

The benefits and costs of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) testing in employment settings are examined from two points of view: that of private employers whose profitability may be affected by their testing policies and that of public policy-makers who may affect social welfare through their design of regulations related to HIV testing. The results reveal that HIV testing is clearly not cost-beneficial for most firms, although the benefits of HIV testing may outweigh the costs for some large firms that offer generous fringe-benefit packages and that recruit workers from populations in which the prevalence of HIV infection is high. The analysis also indicates that the testing decisions of unregulated employers are not likely to yield socially optimal economic outcomes and that existing state and federal legislation related to HIV testing in employment settings has been motivated primarily by concerns over social equity.

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