Empowerment of HIV-positive individuals - possible through microfinance? A Case Study Of Microfinance And HIV Affected Households In Tuan Giao District In Dien Bien Province, Vietnam
Abstract: The prevalence of HIV has caused adverse impacts on rural households, not least in the northern Vietnam where the problem has become a development issue. Despite a rapid economic growth leading to donor withdrawal, huge income disparities still exists. As a result, a person facing the additional burden of HIV has to cope with an even greater distress than before. The aim of this research was therefore to gain a better understanding of the impact microfinance and the training programmes have on the empowerment on households with HIV positive member(s). The study employed a single-case study design and was conducted in Tuan Giao district in Dien Bien province. Using empowerment theory sourced from Kabeer and power theory from Lukes as a foundation for the questions, data was collected through semi-structured interviews with HIV-positive households who had been members of the programmes for at least 1 year. The results points towards that microfinance can be used as a catalyst to an already started empowerment process, but cannot start it itself. Instead, the provision of ARVs together with an increase of the social status through trainings and building of human resources play a key role in enabling HIV-positive households to become empowered.
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