AIDS and the Family

Policy Options for a Crisis in Family Capital

image of AIDS and the Family

HIV and AIDS take a profound toll on families. When a family member becomes sick or dies, everyone in the family suffers. In 2001, the United Nations General Assembly Special Session on HIV/AIDS recognized the important role played by the family in prevention, care and support. This publication addresses the issues and challenges of HIV/AIDS from a family perspective, using information and data from sub-Saharan Africa.



An introductory overview

HIV/AIDS is a family disease. The family network and family capital are major factors influencing the capacity of families to cope with the disease and its consequences. Families affected by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) may be considered “healthy” or “unhealthy”, depending on the strength of the bonds within the family network and the effectiveness with which family capital continues to be accumulated, used and protected for the benefit of infected and uninfected family members.


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