Gender, HIV/AIDS and Rural Livelihoods: Micro-Level Investigations in Three African Countries

Mitigating HIV/AIDS impact at household level
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This paper explores gender-HIV/AIDS-livelihood linkages and discusses micro-level quantitative investigation challenges. It examines four studies undertaken by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in Uganda, Namibia and Zambia. HIV/AIDS is the leading cause of death in Sub-Saharan Africa and has placed a great burden on national health care systems and social services. Study findings include:

  • HIV/AIDS causes loss of human capital, reduction in the amount of land cultivated and food availability, low individual nutritional status and household food insecurity;
  • There is a clear gender variation in labor availability between male- and female-headed households, with female-headed households having less prime-age adult labor available.

Although the three countries reflect different levels of prevalence, they will have to contend with direct and indirect effects of HIV for years to come. The study recommends:

  • An integrated research design that sequences qualitative and quantitative research methods;
  • Development of ethically sound sampling procedures that allow for selecting affected households without exacerbating discrimination;
  • Utilization of data drawn from large-scale studies that are part of an integrated national statistical system.

About this Publication

By Curry, J., Wiegers, E., Garbero, A., Stokes, S. & Hourihan, J.