Disability Grant: a precarious lifeline for HIV/AIDS patients in South Africa

V. Govender, J. Fried, Stephen Birch, Natsayi Chimbindi, Susan Cleary

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    Background: In South Africa, HIV/AIDS remains a major public health problem. In a context of chronic unemployment and deepening poverty, social assistance through a Disability Grant (DG) is extended to adults with HIV/AIDS who are unable to work because of a mental or physical disability. Using a mixed methods approach, we consider 1) inequalities in access to the DG for patients on ART and 2) implications of DG access for on-going access to healthcare. Methods: Data were collected in exit interviews with 1200 ART patients in two rural and two urban health sub-districts in four different South African provinces. Additionally, 17 and 18 in-depth interviews were completed with patients on ART treatment and ART providers, respectively, in three of the four sites included in the quantitative phase. Results: Grant recipients were comparatively worse off than non-recipients in terms of employment (9.1 % vs. 29.9 %) and wealth (58.3 % in the poorest half vs. 45.8 %). After controlling for socioeconomic and demographic factors, site, treatment duration, adherence and concomitant TB treatment, the regression analyses showed that the employed were significantly less likely to receive the DG than the unemployed (p?
    Original languageEnglish
    Article number227
    Number of pages10
    JournalBMC Health Services Research
    Publication statusPublished - 9 Jun 2015

    Bibliographical note

    This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly credited


    • Disability grant
    • Healthcare access
    • HIV/AIDS
    • South Africa


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