South African Banking Industry Strains Under ‘Cost of AIDS’
Financial losses from premature AIDS-related deaths in South Africa could cost banks $2.9 billion over the next decade, according to a report released Friday by the country's Banking Council, the Wall Street Journal reports. The report stated that the country's banking industry should develop ways to improve life insurance coverage for mortgage holders, as more of them "die from the effects of the pandemic, leaving lenders exposed to the mounting debt." Bob Tucker, head of the council, said, "We are talking about a hell of a lot of risk here." He added that the country's bankers and insurance companies should hold discussions on how to "offset" the "mounting risk" (Jones, Wall Street Journal, 6/24). Epidemiologists estimate that of South Africa's population of 44 million people, 4.74 million are HIV-positive, which means that the country has the highest number of HIV-positive adults in the world (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 6/11).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.