Institut für Ernährungswirtschaft und Verbrauchslehre

HIV/AIDS in rural sub-Saharan Africa

Large parts of sub-Saharan Africa have long been trapped in the vicious circle of poverty and ill-health. The arrival of HIV/AIDS, however, has aggravated the situation in an unprecedented way. As the epidemic hits adults at the peak of their productivity and earning capacity, it disables and kills the persons on whom families rely for their very survival. Due to incomplete or missing credit and insurance markets, households have developed several strategies, including the reallocation of labour and the sale of assets, to cope with these shocks. Nonetheless, these strategies are likely to reduce the long-run income-generating capacity of affected households. In addition, given the nature of transmission, households are quite likely to experience multiple deaths, which additionally compromises the household’s ability to cope. 

Given that most African households are located in rural areas and base their income-generating activities on agriculture, this project has a strict focus on the impact of HIV/AIDS on rural livelihoods. HIV/AIDS has been found to have profound effects on subsistence agriculture in sub-Saharan Africa . These include the sale or slaughter of livestock, reductions in the area of cultivated land, and less crop diversity as cultivation is shifted to less labour-intensive and less nutritious crops. Against this backdrop, this project aims to analyse the following set of questions:

  • What is the impact of HIV/AIDS on the rural distribution of income?
  • To what extent can HIV/AIDS-induced changes in subsistence agricultural production systems be linked to the food and nutritional outcomes of affected households?
  • How is the intra-household allocation of resources affected by HIV/AIDS?

To answer these questions, LSMS survey data from the Kagera district in Tanzania are used.


Laufzeit : 01.12.2006 -
Projektleitung: Prof. Dr. Awudu Abdulai
Bearbeitung: Toman Omar Mahmoud, MSc.