Facing the challenge: Household responses to HIV/AIDS in Mumbai, India Academic Article uri icon


  • How households and families respond to AIDS is of fundamental importance when it comes to designing programmes and interventions to provide support and care to people living with HIV disease. Where household and family responses are negative, different kinds of interventions may be needed from those where responses are more supportive. This paper reports on findings from an in-depth study of household and family responses to HIV and AIDS in India. Using individual and couple interviews, data were collected on the ways in which care and support were offered (or denied) to people living with HIV and AIDS. Findings show that responses are greatly influenced by prevailing gender relations, with men being responded to more positively than women, as well as other variables such as social status. The quality of responses is also influenced by pre-existing patterns of support and discord within the family. Where trust is high and spousal conflict slight, for example, HIV and AIDS are reacted to more positively than when there is mistrust and inter-spousal conflict. Suggestions are made concerning programme and intervention development so as to strengthen existing responses, and to maximize the success of home-based care.

publication date

  • February 1999