Are people living with HIV less productive at work?

Kaya Verbooy, Marlies Wagener, Meriam Kaddouri, Pepijn Roelofs, Harald Miedema, Eric van Gorp, Werner Brouwer, Job van Exel

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Health problems may cause decreased productivity among working people. It is unclear if this also applies for people living with HIV (PLWH). This cross-sectional study compares data of PLWH of one of the main HIV treatment centres in the Netherlands (n = 298) to data of the general working population from a previously conducted study (n = 986). We investigate whether productivity at work differs between these groups. The questionnaires used in these studies contained a core of identical questions regarding productivity losses, in the form of absenteeism and presenteeism, over a four-week period and a variety of baseline characteristics, including health status measured with EQ-5D. For PLWH additional clinical data were collected from patient records. From the data, descriptive statistics were computed to characterize the samples. Pearson correlations were used to explore significant associations of productivity with baseline characteristics. A two-part model was used to evaluate both the occurrence and of size of productivity losses in working PLWH and an aggregated sample of PLWH and the general population. It was observed that, on average, total productivity losses do not differ significantly between working PWLH and the general working population, but that the occurrence and size of absenteeism and presenteeism were different. Furthermore, more health problems were associated with higher productivity losses. HIV status was not significantly associated with productivity losses. We conclude that among working people, health status was related to productivity losses but HIV status was not. However, further research is needed into the relation between HIV status and unemployment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1265-1272
Number of pages8
JournalAids care : Psychological and socio-Medical aspects of aids/hiv
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct-2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Absenteeism
  • Adult
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Efficiency
  • Female
  • HIV Infections/psychology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Netherlands
  • Presenteeism
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Unemployment

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