Socio-Economic Impact of HIV and AIDS in Tamil Nadu 2004-2005 and 2006

31 Dec 2006



AIDS has emerged as a serious challenge for the developing as well as the developed world. Although India remains a low prevalence country with overall HIV prevalence of 0.91 percent, it has 5.206 million people living with HIV and AIDS (PLWHA)(2005).

At this critical stage of the country’s response to the epidemic, a study on the ‘Socio-Economic Impact of HIV and AIDS’ was undertaken by National Council of Applied Economic Research (NCAER) in the six HIV highprevalence states of India, namely Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Manipur, Nagaland and Tamil Nadu. The study was carried out with support from UNDP and National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO).

Objectives The objective of the study was to analyse the nature and type of socio-economic impact of HIV and AIDS on affected individuals and their households. The focus of the study is on the impact of HIV and AIDS on household income and employment, level and pattern of consumption, savings and borrowings, education of children, health status including household expenditure on treatment. The stigma and discrimination on the affected individuals and the families are subjected to is also reflected in this stydy. The study is based on a p r ima r y s u r v e y c o n d u c t e d by NCAER.

Data and methodology In the state of Tamil Nadu, a field survey was conducted during the period of December 2004 to February 2005. Both HIV and non-HIV (control group) households were surveyed and their socio-economic characteristics, pattern of household expenditure and savings, prevalence of morbidity and differences in enrolment and dropout rates of school going children compared. The number of HIV households surveyed was 410, comprising 223 rural and 187 urban households. Apart from the capital city of Chennai, the survey covered five more districts, namely Theni, Namakkal, Thiruchirapalli, Erode and Tirunelvelli. This was done so that HIV high-prevalence districts from different geographic regions of the state could be covered.

The Tamil Nadu State AIDS Control Society ( TNSACS) suggested that selected VCTC/PPTCT counsellors canvass questionnaires and two trained counsellors – one man and one woman – were appointed as field investigators. These counsellors were advised to select the sample from a diverse socio-economic profile of households. However, in spite of best efforts, these field investigators could not get access to upper middle class and rich HIV households. The samples were drawn mainly from government general hospitals and TB hospitals, care and support homes, drop-in centres run by NGOs, Network of Positive People etc.