AIDS_economic_impact

AIDS_economic_impact - H The Economic Impact of HIV/AIDS in...

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H. The Economic Impact of HIV/AIDS in Kenya The growing AIDS epidemic has had a severe impact on Kenya’s economy, threatening community stability in ways that will influence the welfare and productivity of citizens for years to come. As a direct result of HIV infection, many households and businesses have suffered from lower revenues and higher costs. These negative effects, in turn, have led to a drastic reduction in national productivity and overall GDP. For individual families, HIV infection is often accompanied by a loss of income, increased medical expenditures, and ultimately, high funeral rates (Bollinger et al. 1999). This unstable environment leaves AIDS orphans without proper access to food, education, or medical services. According to a recent study focusing on the Luo of western Kenya, community members define an orphan as any child under the age of 18 who has lost one or both biological parents. Traditionally, orphans are the responsibility of the remaining parent or members of the patrilineal kin; however, the tremendous increase in orphans due to the AIDS epidemic has overwhelmed the pre-existing cultural framework, leaving these children with caretakers unable or unwilling to respond to their daily needs. The leviratic system, in which a widow marries one of her husband’s brothers, further complicates the role of the family in caring for orphans (Nyambeha et al. 2003).
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