Microfinance: a general overview and implications for impoverished individuals living with HIV/AIDS

J Health Care Poor Underserved. 2010 Aug;21(3):986-1005. doi: 10.1353/hpu.0.0326.


Microfinance among people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) faces some opposition and remains understudied. This literature review examines microfinance's evolution and impact on a variety of social and health indicators and its emerging implementation as a primary prevention tool for HIV and economic intervention for PLWHA. There is an abundance of literature supporting the apparent utility of microfinance. However, our understanding of the subject remains clouded by the heterogeneity and methodological limitations of existing impact studies, and access limitations to microfinance curbs our understanding of microfinance for this population. Existing literature suggests PLWHA could attain economic stability from microfinance and achieve successful repayment rates in some settings. The precarious socioeconomic and health issues of PLWHA pose unique challenges to minimizing loan default risk. Carefully-designed clinical studies are needed to assess whether PLWHA can be as successful with microfinance as healthy individuals.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Financial Management / methods*
  • HIV Infections / economics*
  • HIV Infections / prevention & control
  • Humans
  • Patient Credit and Collection
  • Poverty*
  • Primary Prevention