Women in families living with
HIV/AIDS in Delhi, India
Sadhna Jain, Sr. lect in Reader’s grade,
Dept (Family and Child Welfare),
University of Delhi, India
Women are more vulnerable to
not just a
but a social
Social factors turning HIV into an
epidemic in India
Lack of knowledge and
awareness about HIV/AIDS,
Unequal access to health care,
Unequal access to income
generating activities ,
Economic dependency on men,
Lack of knowledge about sexual
and reproductive rights
Impact of HIV/AIDS on women
Stigma, discrimination and
Emotional exhaustion (time
poverty, empowerment cost
and opportunity cost),
Unrecognized work load,
Critical shortage of food and
not receivers of
They lack psycho-social
support, training in
nursing techniques and
universal precautions to
provide efficient and
quality care and to
How is Delhi vulnerable to HIV /AIDS
Total population > 14 million.
Total number of PLHAs – 2592
Prevalence rate –0.25 %
From 2002 - Jan 2006 figure rose from 945 to 2592 ( nearly
three fold increase ).
Ever increasing number of migrant population,
Large number of high risk groups like street children, sex
workers, homosexuals, intravenous drug users & migrant
High prevalence of sexually transmitted diseases among
women in slums & JJ clusters.
Source Delhi State AIDS control Society report 200
• Investigate the impact of HIV/AIDS on
women living in families,
• Assess the feelings of subjective well-being in
women living with HIV/AIDS in families,
• Find out the availability of care and support
services to women living with HIV/AIDS in
Sample and Method
Women living with HIV/AIDS in families.
Multiple case study design
Interview guide for women living with HIV/AIDS in
Subjective Well-Being Inventory developed by Dr.
Helmet Sell and Dr. Rup Nagpal,
Theme based group discussions.
Demographic profile of the families
General information about the father
• Age Range: 30-42 Yrs
• Education level of the father: Illiteracy- Primary
• Occupation: Driver, ORW, business
• HIV status
• Negative: None
• Positive: 15
• Whether on ART: Were/are10 on ART
• Alive or dead: 5 alive
• Reason of death: AIDS related illness
• Mode of contraction of the disease: HUS
• Alcoholic status
• Alcoholic: 15
• Non alcoholic: None
General information about the mother
• Age Range: 27-40 Yrs.
• Education level of mother: Illiteracy-secondary level
• Occupation: House wife, domestic/patient care help,
helper in NGO, ORW.
• Negative: 06
• Positive: 09
• Whether on ART: 09
• Alive or dead: 14 alive
• Reason of death: AIDS related illness
General information about children
• Total number of children: 38
• Age range of children: 08-23 Yrs
• No. of male children: 17
• No. of female children: 21
• No. of married children: 01
• No. of HIV negative children: 29
• No. of positive children: 09
• No. of children on ART: 07
• No of maternal orphans: None
• No. of paternal orphans: 33
• No. of double orphans: 05
• Mode of contraction of the disease in children: PTCT
• No. of children going to school: 30 regular school/NFE classes
Results and not have surviving male adult
Sixty seven percent of the families did
Wives reported alcoholic nature of husbands and incidences of domestic
Infection entered the family through unsafe sex with multiple partners
by the male member of the family.
Stigma and discrimination faced by women from extended family
Women were invisible multipurpose workers.
Avoidance of health seeking behavior by women.
Daughter in laws were treated much worse than sons.
Poor communication and understanding between couples before the
contraction of the disease.
The position of HIV widows was much worse than that of HIV infected
All the families received material and psycho-social support from one or
Education of children got affected by HIV.
Many changes took place in the families after
the contraction of the disease like joining of
work force by the mother, placement of children
in institutions, separation of siblings, property
quarrels, less number of outings, altered parent
child schedules, lesser availability of facilities
financial crisis, children spending time alone,
involvement of children in household work
irrespective of sex, parental worries about the
future of their children after their death etc.
Thirteen percent of WLHIV scored between 40-60, while 73%
scored between 61-80 and 13% scored between 81-120. The
mean score of WLHIV was 69 much lower than that of normal
Indian adult samples which is 90.8.
Eighty seven percent of women scored below the mean positive
score (42.9) of the test. The minimum and maximum positive
score of the sample was 27 and 44 respectively while that of the
test was 19 and 57 respectively. The minimum and maximum
negative scores of the sample was 37 and 60 respectively while
that of test was 21 and 63 respectively.
The middle value of scores of WLHIV on factors general wellbeing
positive affect, social support and primary group concern was
lower while it is higher for factors like expectation achievement
congruence, confidence in coping, inadequate mental mastery,
perceived ill health and general well-being negative affect. The
middle value of scores of WLHIV on factors transcendence, family
group support and deficiency in social contacts were same as
that of SUBI.
Women were not happy about the way their life
was functioning, did not find primary family as a
source of overall well-being and social environment
supportive in times of crisis in general.
They were happy with their standard of living and
ability to master critical or unexpected situations
but they also had insufficient control over certain
aspects of life that were capable of disturbing the
mental equilibrium. They perceived themselves as
not feeling well and generally had depressed
outlook on life.
The disease negatively impacted the every aspect
of the family dynamics. Women were not perceived
as seekers of health unless very seriously ill.
Women bore the disproportionate brunt of HIV.
There is a need for devising mental health program
for women in particular and PLHIV in general.
There is a need to shift the focus of attention from
interventions to well-being and optimal health.
Link between alcohol and HIV need to be exposed.
The position of HIV infected widows was much
worse than that of women infected with HIV.
There is a need to scale up awareness generation
program for general population.
Strategies to mitigate impact of
HIV/AIDS on women
Supportive social environment
Involvement of HIV positive women
Access to health care
Female controlled strategies
Social marketing of female condoms
Training in income generating activities
Improving inheritance rights
Strong political commitment