Parental presence within households and the impact of antiretroviral therapy in Khayelitsha,Cape Town

Journal Article


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Journal Title

Southern African Journal of HIV Medicine

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AOSIS publishing


University of Cape Town

Background. While household support is an important component of effective care and treatment in HIV/AIDS, there are few insights from Southern Africa into how household support arrangements change over time for patients starting antiretroviral therapy (ART). Objective. We hypothesised that patients initiating ART are more likely to be living with family, especially their mothers, compared with the general population, but that over time these differences disappear. Methods. A panel survey of ART patients was matched by age, gender and education to a comparison sample drawn from adults in Khayelitsha, Cape Town. Results. The results show that there is a substantial potential burden of care on the families of patients starting ART, particularly mothers, and that the use of ART appears to reduce this burden over time. But, even after their health is restored, ART patients are significantly less likely to have a resident sexual partner and more likely to be living in single-person households than their counterparts in the general population.