Who Cares?

The Economics of Dignity

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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.




The researchers met at the 8th Commonwealth Women’s Affairs Ministers Meeting (8WAMM) in Kampala, Uganda and began discussions on the 24/7 involvement of caregivers with people living with HIV and those struggling with the symptoms of AIDS. Building on the discussions and recommendations at 8WAMM – and in the context of the theme for the 53rd Session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), which focused on the ‘Equal sharing of responsibilities between women and men including care-giving in the context of HIV/AIDS’ – the Commonwealth Secretariat decided to work on the issue of women’s role in HIV care and support, with a specific focus on their unpaid work.


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