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Citation Information

Type Report
Title Hitting home: How households cope with the impact of the HIV/AIDS epidemic: A survey of households affected by HIV/AIDS in South Africa
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2002
Publisher Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation
City Washington DC
Country/State United States of America
This report summarizes the results of a survey of 771 AIDS-affected households in different parts of South Africa. The households were randomly selected from the client lists of non-governmental organizations providing support to AIDS-affected households in the regions where the survey was conducted. The survey and this report are an attempt to document the impact of HIV/AIDS on South African households. Although it is not representative of all AIDS-households in South Africa, the report provides a snapshot of the devastating impact of HIV/AIDS on already poor families. As bleak as the findings of this survey are, the households in this survey are likely better off than most since all households in the survey had contact with non-government organizations providing support to HIV-affected households. No sector of the population is unaffected by the HIV epidemic, but it is the poorest South Africans who are most vulnerable to HIV/AIDS and for whom the consequences are inevitably most severe. The average age of the AIDS-sick person in the households surveyed was 35 years—in most cases these were breadwinners and the parents of young children. This report illustrates that in already poor households HIV/AIDS is the tipping point from poverty into destitution. This report documents the impoverishing impact of HIV/AIDS on households and the inordinate burden of caring for AIDS-sick family members. It also documents access to and satisfaction with public services, as well as access to government financial support for AIDS-affected households.

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