Individuals both infected and affected by HIV and AIDS can have difficulty acquiring adequate housing, earning an income or caring for a family without the appropriate support and information. People caring for a sick family member or who are widowed by the disease often cannot make up for the loss of income, cannot complete their household and family responsibilities and become isolated from their community due to stigma.
Furthermore, HIV and AIDS negatively affect the ability of individuals and households to pursue the aspirations of their cooperative. The infected and affected individuals are often unable to contribute time and other resources to the cooperative efforts, due to a shift in focus and other responsibilities.
Without an effective intervention (including knowledge of status and early treatment to prevent disease progression), the HIV infected individuals experience ill health, dwindling household incomes when unable to work, rising cost of care, and in time they have less money to invest in the realization of the cooperative goals. The perceived or real declining commitment by such members to the goals of the cooperative can erode trust and cohesion within the group and contribute to increased HIV related stigma.
To address the negative impacts of HIV and AIDS on cooperative housing, WRJBH has created its Build and Live policy that aims to equip its members with the skills, knowledge and opportunities to overcome such obstacles.
Through enhanced understanding of HIV and AIDS, members can strengthen their cooperatives, decrease stigma, live more healthily, and continue to be contributors to their cooperative.