A growing number of studies have concluded that South Africa has one of the highest cases of HIV infections in the world. With the epidemic continuing to evolve at an alarming rate, the government of South Africa has regarded the HIV/AIDS epidemic as a developmental and socio-economic policy issue. This study explores the impact of HIV/AIDS on food demand in South Africa. Food demand functions were estimated using time-series data for the period 1970 to 2000. Simulation analyses were undertaken to examine “with AIDS” and “without AIDS” scenarios. Unlike previous empirical findings, which dwell on the major negative impact of HIV/AIDS on food demand patterns in South Africa, this study foreshadows a more mixed outcome of both negative and positive impacts on the demand patterns for specific food types in South Africa as consequences of the HIV/AIDS epidemic and recommends policy changes.
International Journal of Social Economics Vol. 31, Issue 7, p. 721-731