Global Resources

Reducing the Burden of HIV and AIDS Care on Women and Girls

Publisher: Voluntary Services Overseas
Publication Date: Jan 2006
Community and home-based care, delivered with little support from the public health system, is currently the key response to the HIV and AIDS pandemic globally. Due to traditional gender norms and unequal gender relations, it is women and girls who generally assume primary responsibility for providing this care, whilst possibly being HIV-positive, and often needing care themselves. This clear and comprehensive policy briefing argues that while community and home-based care is an important and appropriate approach to care provision, care-givers have a right to be valued, supported and to receive appropriate compensation for their work. To this end, the briefing calls on the international community, governments and civil society to:
? Provide financial support and/or compensation for women's unpaid labour through reimbursements, stipends, salaries or improved social protection mechanisms such as pensions, child support grants or cash transfers;
? Promote the involvement of men and boys in providing home- and community-based care, for example by encouraging traditional leaders to 'role-model' care-giving behaviour; and
? Strengthen public health systems through increased training for all health care workers, including community care-givers; and by improving conditions of work and promotion opportunities to increase the retention of health workers.

This resource is part of a larger programme of work by VSO on the burden of HIV and AIDS care on women and girls. The annual VSO-RAISA (Regional AIDS Initiative of Southern Africa) conference at the end of 2007 focused specifically on the 'Challenges of Care'.