Socio- Economic Status of Women Living With Hiv/Aids: The Case of Members of Dilla Medan acts Association

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Addis Ababa University


The study mainly focused on exploring how women talk about and describe the impact of HIV/AIDS on their lives, examining how becoming HIV positive affects a woman’s sense of self and their socio-economic status. It also examined women’s roles as the care giver and the repercussions of that role on their socio-economic and physical well-being. Finally it looked at identifying the limits of women’s coping strategies and the different structural and social environments that facilitate or obstruct their efforts in coping up with the virus. To this end, qualitative research methods comprising in-depth interviews and focus group discussions were used in the study. The data gathered using the methods above was also analyzed qualitatively. It was observed that WLWHA face diverse and immense socio-economic problems resulting from HIV/AIDS. Difficulties engaging in income generating activities due to their poor health status, the death of their husbands and the burden of responsibility for the entire family coupled with the fact that many of them migrate from their home villages to Dilla town to get a better treatment and help were some of the reasons they gave for their current economic problems. The findings also showed that WLWHA suffered greatly from multi-dimensional problems resulting from stigma and discrimination in the society as well as from their families. The participants also highlighted the difficulty of looking after their family and performing their domestic chores and their contribution to their debilitating health status. The study also found that housing was a major obstacle in their attempts to cope with the virus. In relation to lessening the impact of HIV/AIDS on their lives, the majority of the participants responded that spirituality is the major coping strategy they use. They also claimed that the help they received from Medan Acts Association made a great contribution to their well-being. These women also reported that their children, parents, husbands and other family members’ encouragement and support, both psychologically and instrumentally helped them in coping with the virus. A few others also claimed that their adoption of good nutritional intake helped them fight illness resulting from the virus



Gender Studies