According to significant research focused on the AIDS pandemic in sub-Saharan Africa, the virus generally targets the working-age population.
In developing countries, where skilled physical capital is often low, human capital represents one of the most important economic assets.
Business relies on the education sector for its future workers, managers and business leaders. Considerable costs can be added where businesses provide for the funeral costs of employees. Affecting people in their most productive years of life, it leads to reduced earnings, as well as increased care demands, higher expenditure on health care and premature death.

Additionally, with declining and fluctuating productivity, the ability to meet supply demands from consumers and buyers (reliability) decreases. This is affected through the disruption of the production cycle, the under-utilisation of equipment and the use of temporary staff.
This may include employing extra labour to cope with staff fluctuations and losses, widening the skills base through multi-skilling In addition, within a situation of scarcity of skilled labour this not only increases training costs but also may result in demands for higher wages.
These increasing costs may ultimately affect the level of benefits that a business is able to provide for its workforce. This implies that even those who escape the virus will be adversely affected, since extended families, friends and communities will need to fill in for deceased parents.

This has impacts on the present and future reputation of the company and thus on future profitability.
In the long term, the consumer market is reduced, leading to a drop in resources available for production and investment. The loss of skilled workers, together with the entry into the labour market of orphaned children who have to support themselves, may lower both the average working age and the skill level.

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