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The Effect of the HIV/AIDS Epidemic on Africa's Truck Drivers

1. Mathematics Department, University of Texas at Arlington, Box 19408, Arlington, TX 76019-0408
2. Courant Institute, New York University, 251 Mercer Street, New York, NY 10012
3. Department of Mathematics, St. Mary's University, One Camino Santa Maria, San Antonio, TX 78228-8503
4. Department of Mathematics, Howard University, 204 Academic Support Building B, Washington, DC 20059
5. Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad de Colima, Bernal Díaz del Castillo No. 340, Col. Villa San Sebastián, Colima, Colima, México, C.P. 28045

The AIDS epidemic is having a growing impact on the transport sector of the economy of sub-Saharan Africa, where long-distance truck drivers are at an increased risk of infection due to their frequent contacts with commercial sex workers. The spread of AIDS in the transport industry is especially significant to the economy, as truck drivers are largely responsible for transporting crops and supplies needed for daily subsistence. In this paper we analyze these effects via two models, one employing a switch and the other a Verhulst saturation function, to describe the rate at which new drivers are recruited in terms of the supply and demand for them in the general population. Results provide an estimate of the epidemic's economic impact on the transportation sector through the loss of truck drivers (an estimated 10% per year, with endemic levels near 90%).
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