The socio-economic impact of HIV/AIDS : a case study of elderly people caring for HIV infected individuals in the Ugu North District, KwaZulu-Natal.
Phakathi, Thabo Michael.
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This study explores the socio-economic impact of HIV/AIDS on the elderly in the Ugu North District, KwaZulu-Natal. This study employs qualitative methods using in-depth interviews. The sample consisted of 6 females and 6 males aged 60 and above. The respondents were all black. The respondents either had lived or were living with an HIV/AIDS infected individual in their household. The findings of the study indicate that the high prevalence of HIV/AIDS among the younger generation places a huge social and economic burden on the elderly people, especially those who are caring for HIV infected individuals in their households. The findings of the study show that the elderly are carrying a huge burden because of HIV/AIDS. Elderly men and women revealed the trauma of seeing their children dying in front of them. Providing treatment to a sick person, losing a child, loss of income, stigma and discrimination and caring for grandchildren were some of the difficulties faced by elderly people. The results of the study suggest that elderly people should be a key focus of HIV/AIDS discourse.