HIV and AIDS AND POVERTY; HOUSEHOLD (HH) ECONOMIC STRENGTHENING AS A STRATEGY FOR BREAKING THE VICIOUS CYCLE Introduction While HIV and AIDS affect the poor and the rich, the poor people are, nevertheless, doubly disadvantaged. The reasons why poor people are vulnerable to HIV/AIDS are: a) b) c) d) e) Poor people have fewer choices; Poor people are less able to protect themselves against HIV/AIDS; Poor people may have fewer rights, or be unaware of their rights; The majority of the world’s poor people are women and gender inequality is linked with higher infection rates; The poor have diminished capacity to cope with HIV infection.
Vicious cycle of HIV/AIDS and Poverty Affects
Affects Poverty Poverty refers to the state of lacking the basic necessities of life or the inability to attain a minimum standard of living” Household economic strengthening strategy refers to the financial input or support to the families, organizations, churches, etc. Economic strengthening as a strategy for breaking the vicious cycle of HIV/AIDS and poverty is therefore the financial input or support to the HIV infected persons to help them stop or minimize the spread of the virus.
Relationship between HIV and AIDS and Poverty
a) Lack of Basic Needs Due to lack of basic needs, people engage themselves in immoral and illegal ways e.g prostitution in order to acquire these basic needs. People may involve themselves in illegal businesses like selling cheap illegal liquor which will make people engage themselves in careless sexual behaviours leading to the spread of HIV/AIDS. b) Lack of Education Due to lack of education, people rarely know about HIV/AIDS and its implications in ones health. People fail to get access to at least basic education. Because of this, HIV/AIDS spreads rapidly as the people are mixing up with infected persons unknowingly, exposing them to the infected fluids because they do not know about protection measures. c) Dependency Poverty brings about dependency. This is because HIV/AIDS infected people cannot afford to buy drugs or get the right diet to boost their immunity. These people normally rely on their family members and/or friends. This therefore hardens the financial status of the family members or friends more than before. d) Lack of Employment Some organizations avoid employing or retaining the people with HIV/AIDS. This normally affects businesses because the infected people could be the most productive or well trained in certain jobs. Due to this kind of victimization, these people engage in immoral and illegal activities to earn their daily bread as before. This therefore facilitates the spreading of the disease. The Impact of HIV and AIDS and Poverty at Households and at National Level A. National Level There may be less food available because so many people are sick or caring for those with AIDS rather than working to produce food. This can lead to a rise in food prices. As teachers become sick and die from AIDS, provision of education is affected.
The economy is affected because people may not go to work when they are sick, or they may take time off to care for the sick or to attend funerals. AIDS increases demands on the health sector because increasing numbers of people are falling sick more money spent on medical procedures such as gloves and blood screening. Healthcare workers may decide to leave their jobs because they fear contracting HIV or become sick.
B. Household Level Economic impact: People who are sick are no longer able to carry out income generating activities or household chores. They will also need someone to depend on and to care for them. The household will have to spend on few income-earners. The way money is spent by the household may change. The money spent on food, shelter, clothing and school fees may be reduced in order to pay for medicines and funeral expenses. One of the most destructive impacts of AIDS on households is the loss...
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