The economic impact of HIV/AIDS on urban households.
The overall objectives of the study are to analyse the economic impact of HIV/AIDS on income-earning urban households and in so doing to develop a methodology for HIV/AIDS household surveys. The study started with 125 households in the first wave. Of these, 113 households were followed over 4 waves (2), over a 12-month period, and across two cohorts referred to as affected (3) and non-affected (4) households. Data on the household were collected from the financial head (5) using the diary method. The methodology for this study was done after a review of 33 HIV/AIDS economic studies conducted around the world. The study obtained buy-in and support from various stakeholders in government, nongovernment organisations, community, academic and funding institutions as from people living with HIV/AIDS. Due to the comprehensive design of the research instrument, the study is able to draw relationships between the various facets of the household and the possible influence that HIV/AIDS has on them. Methodologically, the study found that there are "hidden" costs of morbidity and mortality that needs to be quantified. The costs of health care and funerals are higher in the affected cohort, as expected, due to the frequency of illness or death and not necessarily because there are cost differences as a result of whether a household member has HIV/AIDS or not. The key finding is that affected households re-organise themselves in terms of household size, composition and structure as well as through transfers in, income from grants and other non-market sources, especially to pay for funeral costs. Surviving members are affected not only socially and economically but also psychologically and the needs of this group should not be ignored. (2) Each visit is referred to as a wave (3) Affected household is a household where at least one person is HIV positive (4) Non-Affected household is a household where the index case is HIV negative and no other members presented with an HIV/AIDS-related symptom (5) The person responsible for the finances in the household.