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Sante. 2008 Oct-Dec;18(4):187-91.

[From economic difficulties to social suffering of people living with HIV in Burkina Faso].

[Article in French]

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  • 1Institut de recherche en sciences de la santé, Centre national de recherche scientifique et technologique (IRSS-CNRST), 03 BP 7192 Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso.


A qualitative study conducted in 2006 shows that many people in Burkina Faso, living with HIV and receiving antiretroviral treatment (ART), have difficulties in meeting the expenses related to care. This anthropological analysis considers their perceptions, the causes and the social impact of these economic problems. This research is based on semi-structured interviews with 35 people living with HIV (PLWHIV) infection, contacted through HIV care programs in Ouagadougou, Bobo-Dioulasso and Ouahigouya. After recording, transcribing and indexing the interviews, we analysed them. Even when they did not have to pay for treatment, most of the subjects faced economic problems dealing with follow-up care and monitoring, transportation, and other expenses, and these problems occur when PLWHIV have already faced the long, complex and expensive therapeutic itinerary before the test that diagnosed HIV infection. The new diet required by the treatment is also mentioned. Moreover, work problems often due to the disease (low output at work, inability to work, job loss) have already decreased patients' income by the time they get treatment. It is not easy for them to return to the level of resources they had before their disease, even if they can find a job. This financial exhaustion frequently leads to the exclusion of PLWHIV from their former solidarity networks, mostly because they can no longer participate in collective contributions or return what they were given when they were totally dependent. The analysis of these conversations shows the relevance of the concept of "social suffering" in describing the social effects of the economic problems that face many PLWHIV on ART, even when treatment is subsidized.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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