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The Impact of Thailand's AIDS Epidemic on Older Persons: Quantitative Evidence from a Survey of Key Informants

Publication Abstract

Download PDF versionKnodel, John E., Chanpen Saengtienchai, Wassana Im-em, and Mark VanLandingham. 2000. "The Impact of Thailand's AIDS Epidemic on Older Persons: Quantitative Evidence from a Survey of Key Informants." PSC Research Report No. 00-448. July 2000. (Also issued as The Impact Of Thailand's Aids Epidemic On Older Persons: Quantitative Evidence From A Survey Of Key Informants. Publication No. 252, Institute for Population and Social Research, Mahidol University, Thailand (2000).)

This report assesses the involvement of parents in Thailand in the caregiving and living arrangements of adult AIDS cases and the economic impact on the families and parents through expenditures on treatments and other routes. Interviews with local key informants in the public health system in an extensive sample of rural and urban communities provided quantitative information on these issues. The results indicate that a substantial proportion of persons with AIDS move back to their communities of origin at some stage of the illness. Two-thirds of the adults who died of AIDS either lived with or adjacent to a parent by the terminal stage of illness and a parent, usually the mother, acted as a main caregiver for about half. The economic impacts appear to be severe for only a minority of parents although those who are from the poorer economic strata are particularly likely to be substantially affected adversely. The wide availability of government health insurance likely moderates the economic impact on families. A substantial majority of families in the upper north are reported to be open to the community about a family member being ill with AIDS but only about half of families outside the upper north were considered to be open. Negative community reactions during the time of illness to families with a member who had AIDS was reported for a fifth of the families in the upper North and a third elsewhere. Following the death, few cases of residual negative reaction were reported anywhere.

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