The Impact of HIV/AIDS on the Shona Livelihood System of Southeast Zimbabwe
AdvisorBaro, Mamadou A
Committee ChairBaro, Mamadou A
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractThis study aims to understand the mechanisms by which HIV/AIDS affects the means, relations and processes of rural livelihood systems practiced by the Shona living in the arid southeastern region of Zimbabwe. It shows how these households that participate in that livelihood system and respond to the shocks and stresses associated with HIV/AIDS. During fieldwork in 2004 and 2005, this region underwent a severe and prolonged drought resulting in the widespread loss of staple crops and placing the nation in a declared food emergency. Widespread poverty, stigma and an inadequate health care system further exacerbate the crisis created by HIV infection, limiting the range of household options to access care and nutrition. I propose that HIV/AIDS constitutes a shock or threat to the functioning of a livelihood system and its ability to respond to drought. The analysis investigates a set of mechanisms internal to the Shona livelihood system to show the impacts of HIV/AIDS at the household level. It presents a scenario in which the harsh synergism of drought and HIV/AIDS result in significant loss of livelihood security.