An exploration of the challenges of grandparenting in HIV/AIDS affected families in Zambia
Phiri, Jackson F.
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HIV/AIDS, discovered in the early 1980s, has now become a world-wide epidemic. The most affected area is Africa, in particular sub-Saharan Africa. This exploratory research project examined the challenges facing grandmothers and focused on Zambia because with 1,291,079 orphans, Zambia has the highest proportions of orphans in the world. Evidence demonstrates that grandmothers care for approximately 43% of the 845,546 AIDS orphans. Young men and women aged between 15 and 49, despite good health and higher education, have continued to die from AIDS, leaving behind children who are cared for by their grandparents and in particular their grandmothers. The experiences of these grandmothers are not known due to a paucity of studies on the subject. This study is a scoping review of literature on HIV/AIDS in Zambia and its impact on the family. A number of journals, books, and reports were investigated. The major themes arising from the literature were identified and discussed; they include HIV/AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa and HIV/AIDS in Zambia, impact of HIV/AIDS on households and Zambia’s response to the epidemic. This research uses three perspectives: conflict theory, social capital and role conflict to guide the exploration of the social impact of HIV/AIDS on families and society. The study provided an opportunity to identify and examine the challenges facing grandmothers who care for their AIDS orphans and consequently to offer potential solutions. It also contributed to a broader understanding of the social significance of HIV/AIDS.