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AIDS Care. 2009 Aug;21(8):1032-41. doi: 10.1080/09540120802626170.

Household impacts of AIDS: using a life course approach to identify effective, poverty-reducing interventions for prevention, treatment and care.

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Training and Research Support Centre, Harare, Zimbabwe.


A life course approach was used to assess household level impacts and inform interventions around HIV risk and AIDS vulnerability across seven major age-related stages of life. Our focus was sub-Saharan Africa. We provided a qualitative review of evidence from published literature, particularly multicountry reviews on impacts of AIDS, on determinants of risk and vulnerability, and reports of large surveys. Areas of potential stress from birth to old age in households affected by AIDS, and interventions for dealing with these specific stresses were identified. While specific interventions for HIV are important at different stages, achieving survival and development outcomes demands a wider set of health, social security and development interventions. One way to determine the priorities amongst these actions is to give weighting to interventions that address factors that have latent impacts later in life, which interrupt accumulating risk, or that change pathways to reduce the risk of both immediate and later stress. This qualitative review suggested that interventions, important for life cycle transitions in generalised epidemics where HIV risk and AIDS vulnerability is high, lie within and outside the health sector, and suggested examples of such interventions.

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