Microfinance and HIV mitigation among people living with HIV in the era of anti-retroviral therapy: emerging lessons from Cote d'Ivoire

Glob Public Health. 2011;6(4):447-61. doi: 10.1080/17441692.2010.515235.


The effects of HIV/AIDS have been far-reaching in Africa. Beyond adverse health outcomes and the tremendous toll on life, AIDS has serious economic impacts on households, increasing livelihood insecurity while simultaneously depleting socio-economic resources. Although microfinance is believed to have the potential to mitigate the economic impacts of HIV by helping affected households and communities better prepare for and cope with HIV-related economic shocks, little empirical research exists on this subject. This qualitative study examines the socio-economic impacts of economic strengthening activities on people living with HIV (PLHIV) in the era of increased access to anti-retroviral therapy to determine if savings-led, community-managed microfinance is a justified activity for HIV programmes. Findings from a village savings and loan programme, implemented by CARE International in Cote d'Ivoire, revealed that when appropriate medical treatment is available PLHIV are capable of participating in and benefit from microfinance activities, which increased HIV-positive clients' access to money and economic self-sufficiency. By bringing individuals with similar experiences together, savings and loan groups also acted as self-support groups providing psychosocial support while reducing stigmatisation and increasing members' sense of dignity and self-worth.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Adult
  • Attitude
  • Capital Financing*
  • Cost of Illness*
  • Cote d'Ivoire
  • Employment*
  • HIV Infections / economics*
  • HIV Infections / psychology
  • Humans
  • Quality of Life
  • Social Stigma
  • Social Support*
  • Socioeconomic Factors