294 HIV and AIDS
Much of the work in
caring for sick people
at home is done by
women, who are
usually the family’s
The health and medical problems of AIDS may last a long time.
These problems can take a lot of the energy and resources of
the sick person and her or his family.
If you are sick with AIDS, you will probably need to see a
health worker or go to a clinic regularly to have an infection
treated or to get medicines for HIV. But you may never need
to stay in the hospital. You may be more comfortable at home,
cared for by family members in familiar surroundings.
Try to find a health worker, clinic, or doctor you trust who
is experienced with HIV. Then go to the same person or clinic
whenever you have a problem or have a problem that does not
get better with home treatment. Going to a clinic where you are
known saves time, energy, and money and can help keep you out
of the hospital.
In many communities, HIV programs send community health
workers to people’s homes to help families care for those with HIV.
If you are caring for someone with AIDS, be
sure to take care of your own needs, too. Try to
get help from other family members, friends and
people in the community. Community clubs,
religious groups, youth clubs, and AIDS self-
help groups may assist you.
Community support like this can allow
girls to stay in school.
When Rosa was in bed because of AIDS complications, her mother kept a
cheerful attitude. Every day she bathed her daughter, dressed her with nice
clothes, and put a little flower next to her bed. Rosa was not hungry but her
mother arranged the food in a way that could make her want to eat. The
family would talk to Rosa about daily life, and their
work and community. With their good humor and
positive comments, Rosa felt that she was not cast
aside. Even though Rosa was often tired or didn’t
feel well, the family arranged for her friends
to visit her in the moments she felt better.
Music, conversation, and good spirit kept
the house full of life. Rosa felt that she
was loved and needed, and that AIDS
could not ruin her closeness and her
time with her family.
Where Women Have No Doctor 2012