Chronic and transitory poverty in the face of HIV/AIDS-related morbidity and mortality: Evidence from South Africa


The socio-economic impact of HIV/AIDS combines to create a vicious cycle of poverty and HIV/AIDS in which affected households are caught up. This paper focuses on evidence from a longitudinal household impact study currently being conducted in two sites in the Free State province of South Africa. The impact of HIV/AIDS on households is being assessed by means of a cohort study of households affected by the disease, and compared with a control group of households not currently affected by the disease.

This paper focuses on an analysis of the data collected during the first three rounds of interviews. Descriptive analyses, mobility profiling and regression analysis are employed in exploring poverty dynamics in affected and non-affected households. The incidence, depth and severity of poverty are relatively worse amongst affected households, especially affected households that have suffered illness or death in the recent past. The intensity of income mobility increases as the probability of households being affected by illness or death increases. Affected households, particularly those facing a greater burden of morbidity or mortality, are more likely to experience variations in income and to experience chronic poverty. Not only conventional determinants of poverty (e.g. human capital, access to labour markets, and physical capital), but also HIV/AIDS-related determinants (e.g. mortality. morbidity and the orphaned crisis) play a role in explaining why some households remain poor while other households are upwardly mobile and can escape poverty. The evidence underscores the importance in the longer term of economic policies focused on job creation and education in addressing chronic poverty in the face of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, with a social safety net targeting HIV/AIDS-related poverty impacts being important in the short to mediumterm.


Chronic and transitory poverty in the face ofHIV/AIDS-related morbidity and mortality: Evidencefrom South Africa presented at Staying Poor: Chronic Poverty and Development Policy, Institute for Development Policy and Management, University of Manchester, 7-9 April 2003. Chronic Poverty Research Centre (CPRC), Manchester, UK, 32 pp.

Chronic and transitory poverty in the face of HIV/AIDS-related morbidity and mortality: Evidence from South Africa

Published 1 January 2003