Coping with Poverty in Ghana: An Analysis of Livelihood Strategies of Persons Living with HIV and AIDS in Cape Coast and Accra, Ghana

By Raphael Avornyo.

Published by The International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social and Community Studies

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This paper analyzes how groups of people living with HIV and AIDS (PLHIV) in Accra and Cape Coast, Ghana have been coping with poverty. Data for this qualitative study were obtained from 48 purposely and accidentally selected PLHIV using interviews. The majority of the respondents stated that they were working in the informal sector of the economy. Twenty-four (24) of them representing 50%, said they were in trade. Twenty-two (22) of them, representing 44%, were in sewing, hairdressing, or carpentry professions, or unemployed. Only four of them were working in the formal sector – two as teachers, one as a social worker, and another one as a journalist. Thirty (30) respondents, representing 60%, stated that they were poor largely due to their status. For the majority of the respondents, their coping strategies involved getting funds from friends, relatives, and adult children, buying and selling of commodities, and caring for and supporting other PLHIV for a token from NGOs. Employing more PLHIV in the formal sector or getting more start-up capital for them to establish income-generation activities would enable them to eke out a living.

Keywords: HIV and AIDS, Persons Living with HIV, Poverty

The International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social and Community Studies, Volume 9, Issue 3-4, April 2015, pp.11-23. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 589.530KB).

Dr. Raphael Avornyo

Lecturer, Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Cape Coast, Cape Coast, Ghana