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J Int AIDS Soc. 2010 Apr 20;13:14. doi: 10.1186/1758-2652-13-14.

Estimating the cost of care giving on caregivers for people living with HIV and AIDS in Botswana: a cross-sectional study.

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  • 1Department of Statistics, University of Botswana, Gaborone, Botswana.



Community home-based care is the Botswana Government's preferred means of providing care for people living with HIV (PLHIV). However, primary (family members) or volunteer (community members) caregivers experience poverty, are socially isolated, endure stigma and psychological distress, and lack basic care-giving education. Community home-based care also imposes considerable costs on patients, their caregivers and families in terms of time, effort and commitment. An analysis of the costs incurred by caregivers in providing care to PLHIV will assist health and social care decision makers in planning the most appropriate ways to meet future service needs of PLHIV and their caregivers.


This study estimated the cost incurred in providing care for PLHIV through a stratified sample of 169 primary and volunteer caregivers drawn from eight community home-based care groups in four health districts in Botswana.


The results show that the mean of the total monthly cost (explicit and indirect costs) incurred by the caregivers was $(90.45 +/- 9.08) while the mean explicit cost of care giving was $(65.22 +/- 7.82). This mean of the total monthly cost is about one and a half times the caregivers' mean monthly income of $66.00 (+/- 5.98) and more than six times the Government of Botswana's financial support to the caregivers. In addition, the cost incurred per visit by the caregivers was $15.26, while the total expenditure incurred per client or family in a month was $184.17.


The study, therefore, concludes that as the cost of providing care services to PLHIV is very high, the Government of Botswana should substantially increase the allowances paid to caregivers and the support it provides for the families of the clients. The overall costs for such a programme would be quite low compared with the huge sum of money budgeted each year for health care and for HIV and AIDS.

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