Social Science Programme / Direct and indirect impact of HIV and AIDS on older people in Uganda

Lead Research Organisation: MRC/UVRI Uganda Research Unit on AIDS

Abstract

Older people are an increasing proportion of Ugandas population. In general, there is a lack of sound information on the physical, mental and social well-being of older people in Africa, and Uganda is no exception. The AIDS epidemic may have major effects on older people, as shown by studies that mostly focus on the role of grandparents as caretakers of orphans. There are several major gaps in the research and evidence on health of older people in families affected by AIDS. This research contributes to the evidence base to guide the development and implementation of health programmes to meet older peoples needs, especially those who have offspring infected or dead due to HIV/AIDS but also older people who have HIV/AIDS themselves. Two projects are being undertaken on this theme, one a cross-sectional study of 500 older people in two sites (rural and urban) and a longitudinal study with 40 older people. The first project is collecting a range of health and wellbeing data. The second focuses on older peoples life histories and a monthly oral diary of their day to day life.

Technical Summary

Older people are an increasing proportion of Ugandas population. In general, there is a lack of sound information on the physical, mental and social well-being of older people in Africa, and Uganda is no exception. There are several major gaps in the research and evidence on health of older people in families affected by AIDS. Very few studies in the grandparent caregiver literature have addressed the health of grandparents as the central topic. In addition, most studies that include health have not measured health in a systematic way. Mental health issues such as depression, social isolation, and anxiety are likely to be more common in families affected by HIV/AIDS, but little is known about how grandparents are affected. Finally, the effects of the introduction of ART for their adult offspring and grandchildren on the health and well-being of older people have not been studied.||This research, which consists of two projects (following a smaller pilot project), contributes to the evidence base by describing the roles and health issues of older people (50 years and older) who have offspring infected or dead due to HIV/AIDS or who have HIV/AIDS themselves. It also investigates the effects of the introduction of ART on this sub-population. ||The first project is a cross-sectional study which involves five groups of older people (those who have: lost off-spring, caring for HIV-positive off-spring who are ill, HIV-positive themselves and not on ART, those who are on ART and individuals not directly affected by HIV in their own household). The project is based in two sites, an urban population within the vicinity of Entebbe town and a rural population in Masaka District. The second project is a qualitative study. Forty older people, drawn from the groups above, are visited once a month for 12 months to learn about their lives and to collect an oral diary of one week each month.| |The different complementary parts of this work is funded by different sources which include the MRC/UVRI Uganda Unit core budget, WHO and CORDAID. The pilot phase was supported by DFID (through its Evidence for Action Consortium).|

Publications

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Kuteesa MO (2014) Experiences of HIV-related stigma among HIV-positive older persons in Uganda--a mixed methods analysis. in SAHARA J : journal of Social Aspects of HIV/AIDS Research Alliance

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Mugisha JO (2017) Timing of Most Recent Health Care Visit by Older People Living With and Without HIV. in International journal of aging & human development

 
Description Development of social gerontology manual for Government of Uganda
Geographic Reach Africa 
Policy Influence Type Influenced training of practitioners or researchers
 
Description Qualitative study 
Organisation Catholic Organisation for Relief and Development Aid (CORDAID)
Country Netherlands 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution Partial funding support for a year long qualitative study, as well as general interest and encouragement for our work. Recently commenced funding for us to work with Government of Uganda to develop a manual from the findings of this overall project
Impact no publications yet
Start Year 2009
 
Description Quantitative study 
Organisation World Health Organization (WHO)
Department Older People/SAGE WHO
Country Switzerland 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Financial support for the project, plus use of tools to adapt for data collection. Support for statistical analysis
Impact conference presentations. None other yet.
Start Year 2008
 
Description HelpAge meeting 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Interest from audiences (in both an event in London and in Vienna)

na
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2008,2009