The Effects of the AIDS Epidemic on the Elderly in a High-Prevalence Setting in Sub-Saharan Africa

Philip A. Anglewicz, University of Pennsylvania
Winford Masanjala, University of Malawi
Peter C. Fleming, University of Pennsylvania

High morbidity and mortality in rural sub-Saharan Africa is expected to have direct impacts on individuals and their extended families, such as diverting family resources from the elderly to the working-aged and increasing the burdens on the elderly to care for the sick and orphans, with implications for their long-term well-being. Distinguishing between short-term and long-term effects of AIDS on families, however, requires longitudinal data on family characteristics both preceding and following the illness and death of a family member. In this paper, we use longitudinal data from rural Malawi, 1998-2008, to assess the effects of the AIDS epidemic on the elderly. In particular, we examine the relationship between adult children’s HIV and health status and (1) intra-familial exchanges, (2) the health status of the elderly and (3) living arrangements and household structure.

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Presented in Poster Session 2