The burden of HIV-AIDS illness and its socio-economic impact on household: the case of Dodoma Urban District.

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University of Dar es Salaam
The study on the burden of HIV/AIDS illness on households aimed to explore the extent to which the illness has created a burden and affected the ability of the households to purchase food, clothes and paying for education of their children. The study employed the functionalist, interactionist and conflict perspectives to understand the burden of HIV/AIDS illness in Dodoma urban district. Dodoma urban district was the focus of the study and data were collected using key-informant interviews, networking, observation and information records which were available at Dodoma government hospital, Makole Health Centre and non-governmental organizations dealing with people living with HIV/AIDS. The statistical package for social sciences (SPSS for Windows) and coding were used to analyse data. These data were summarized in frequencies and percentages were presented in tables for easy comparison. Simple cross tabulation was made in order to establish relationships among variables. The study has found HIV/AIDS illness as a constraint on households' ability to secure their livelihood. This is because 62.4% of the respondents have reported that medical expenses due to HIV/AIDS illness have resulted into financial problems to the extent that they could not afford to buy food, clothes and paying school fees for their children. The study show that the households reported to be spending an amount less than Tshs 50,000/= to more than 201,000% per month for medical treatment. The variation of amount spent on medical treatment was reported to depend on income of the household, severity of illness and the nature of medical treatment available. In connection with the amount of income spent on medical expenses and their implication on the household, the results have shown that the lower income earners spent very little on medical expenses, although they were the ones who reported to experience financial problems like failure to buy food and paying for school fees. The study has further revealed that the patients and care givers had been compelled to suspend their regular work for about 3 to over 20 days in a month in order to attend their own HIV/AIDS illness or to take care of the sick person. The suspension of work has resulted into a loss of income to some households which ranged from Tshs. 18,000/= to 540,000/= per month. Further, the findings show that 45.5% of the patients reported to be stigmatized in one way or another. However, 55.5% reported to get support from household members. The burden experienced by the households due to HIV/AIDS illness has compelled them to adopt different coping mechanisms such as selling of assets, borrowing, suspension of work and loan. The adoption of these coping strategies by households needs to be investigated in order to determine its impact on households. Conclusively, the findings from this study show that HIV/AIDS illness has created a burden to households by being a major strain for households' resources, loss of income, the reduced ability of patients and care givers to work and mounting medical expenditures particularly to low income households.
HIV (Virus), Aids (Disease), Households, Socio- economic condition, Dodoma urban district
Chisawani, S. F. (2004). The burden of HIV-AIDS illness and its socio-economic impact on household: the case of Dodoma Urban District. Masters dissertation, University of Dar es Salaam. Available at (