Gendered impact of HIV/AIDS on livelihoods among infected and affected farm households in a selected community in Koinadugu District, in Sierra Leone.
Jenkins, Finda Bandor.
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This study explores the impact of HIV and AIDS on farming households in Koinadugu District, Sierra Leone. There is a strong relationship between HIV/AIDS and nutrition; as poor nutrition reduces the immune system’s ability to fight infections which hasten the progression from HIV to full-blown AIDS, and / or HIV/AIDS itself may lead to malnutrition. It draws on interviews with policy makers /service providers, as well as with men and women in households with farm workers infected by HIV/AIDS. Koinadugu District is predominantly agrarian, with many adults, mainly men, involved in small scale agricultural production. However, it also has the highest rate of HIV infection of all the Districts in Sierra Leone during the 2005 HIV/AIDS sero prevalence survey. Of particular interest, this study is concerned about the social and economic impact of HIV/AIDS, and the gendered forms this takes. In order to ameliorate the impact of HIV/AIDS on farming households, this study recommends the provision of labour saving devices, improved seeds and better storage and processing facilities for farmers, as well as educational and health facilities for farming and other households. It also recommends improvements in nutrition through support for enhanced food crop diversification.