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Who Cares?

The Economics of Dignity

image of Who Cares?
At the centre of the HIV/AIDS response are the 12 million people who need care and treatment. Those who are ill require support from carers who provide physical, social and psychological support. Yet these carers – essential actors in the response – are often invisible to the system that relies on them.



The writers argue that focusing on the carer, at the household level, directs assistance where it is most effective and most needed, will respect human rights, and will help achieve the millennium development goals in health.

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Introduction

‘He was in the same clothes in a corner bed [of the hospital], no sheets nothing. The food that they had taken for him was lying there. He was blind, crippled and not talking.’ – L, unpaid carer, Jamaica

‘When we started getting the basket people use to laugh at us saying we are eating AIDS food….’ – Lillian, unpaid carer, Botswana

‘Right before she was brought to the hospital she was found lying in her own vomit with rotting food in her cell, cigarette butts everywhere and fruit flies all over.’ – Cynthia, unpaid carer, Canada

‘There is nobody on earth who can really stand beside me. Today I cannot do any work properly due to my HIV infection because people rebuke me or neglect me.’ – Hamida, unpaid carer, Bangladesh

‘The most difficult is that you have to stay indoors, you don’t go out. Since she don’t walk you have to stay indoors. She needs drinking water, she wants to go to the toilet, you have to carry her.’ – Amira, unpaid carer, Nigeria

‘My anger was with my own family because they would not come and visit us or bring food for her like what is normally done when someone is sick. It was like I had no family.’ – Ruth, unpaid carer, Papua New Guinea

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