ABSTRACT

Possible economic consequences of HIV/AIDS include: increased risk of group life
cover, retirement benefit and medical care costs; increased cost of labour due to
high staff turnover, absenteeism and compassionate or sick leave; and cost of
HIV/AIDS management programs. Given the exposure of most South African firms
to these costs, this research examines the extent to which publicly listed firms
voluntarily disclose information about HIV/AIDS. It equally ascertains factors that
influence firms to voluntarily disclose such socially sensitive but economically
consequential information. Results show that firm listing, firm size and belonging to
the industrial sector are important in influencing firms to disclose information about
HIV/AIDS. These results largely support the notion that firms with reputational
capital are generally forthcoming with economically important information.