Original Research

HIV/AIDS and poverty: Evidence from the Free State province

F. le R. Booysen
South African Journal of Economic and Management Sciences | Vol 6, No 2 | a3322 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajems.v6i2.3322 | © 2019 F. le R. Booysen | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 31 July 2019 | Published: 30 June 2003

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F. le R. Booysen, Department of Economics, and Centre for Health Systems Research and Development, University of the Free State, South Africa

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Poverty is likely to deepen as the AIDS epidemic takes its course, with households being caught up in a vicious cycle of poverty and HIV/AIDS. This paper shows that affected households are poorer than non-affected households, regardless of whether income is measured at the household, per capita or adult equivalent level and regardless of the poverty line or poverty measure employed in measuring poverty. The incidence, depth and severity of poverty are worse amongst affected households, particularly amongst affected households that have experienced illness or death. The evidence underscores the importance in the longer term of economic policies focused on job creation and education in mitigating the impact of HIV/AIDS, with poverty alleviation through an enhanced social safety net being important in the short to medium-term.


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