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Saengtienchai, Chanpen; John Knodel
Parents Providing Care to Adult Sons and Daughters with HIV/AIDS in Thailand
UNAIDS - Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS, Geneva, November 2001, 132 pp
92 9173 130 7

UNAIDS Best Practice Collection Case Study (UNAIDS/01.72E)


" As the worldwide HIV/AIDS epidemic continues, there is increasing recognition that more attention and resources need to be focused on those indirectly affected by the epidemic. Uninfected family members and significant others can be affected emotionally, economically, socially and physically by the illness and death of a person with AIDS. This is particularly true for persons who serve as caregivers. Much attention has been given to AIDS orphans the children left behind by parents who have died from AIDS. Yet those with AIDS may not only have children but also parents who are affected in significant ways and who often act as caregivers to their infected adult children. None the less, almost no attention has been paid so far to the parents of those with AIDS, other than acknowledging their responsibility as grandparents who can care for their orphaned grandchildren. Their critical role as caregivers to their adult sons and daughters is typically overlooked because research on AIDS-related caregiving in the developing world is not extensive. The studies that have been done, however, underscore the importance of the traditional family in providing care and support for adults with AIDS and, particularly, the major role that parents play. So far, the most extensive research that provides quantitative estimates is from Thailand. A study of approximately 750 individuals throughout the country who died of AIDS primarily between 1996 and 1999 indicates that parents—usually
the mother provided care, at least during the terminal stage, for almost two-thirds of the Thai adults who died of AIDS, and
acted as primary caregivers for half. This study provides a qualitative analysis of the circumstances and consequences of parental caregiving to adult children with AIDS in Thailand based on open-ended interviews, primarily with parents of adult children who died of
AIDS. The results reveal the circumstances that lead to parental caregiving, the tasks involved and the stress they created, how parents coped with this stress, and the consequences for their emotional, social and economic wellbeing. ."

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