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.



Changing structures and functions of families affected by HIV/AIDS

The AIDS epidemic in Africa has evolved during a period in which family structures have been changing in response to urbanization, political events, civil conflicts and economic crises. The appearance of AIDS has accelerated these transformations, and in those countries in which the epidemic has not abated or has been inadequately addressed, its impact on families is such that it has begun to resemble a smouldering social genocide. The full impact of this process, hidden in a litany of statistics, is increasingly taking on a human face in the reports of journalists.


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