Family experiences of home caring for patients with HIV/AIDs in rural Limpopo Province, South Africa

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The increasing rate of patients with HIV/AIDS brings a burden to the already weakened health care delivery systems in Limpopo Province, South Africa. Hospitals alone cannot deal with the needs of AIDS patients effectively; the patients are discharged to be cared for at home. A qualitative study was conducted to explore and describe the experiences of the family members that are caring for patients with HIV/AIDS at home. Interviews were conducted with 12 participants who were purposively selected as the caregivers of patients suffering from AIDS at home. Ethical measures were adhered to for the protection of the participants. The findings revealed that the family members experience negative feelings, characterized by sadness, pain, anger, depression, and frustration, as they care for their loved one within the context of extreme poverty. Quality care was compromised in situations where basic resources were not available. Guidelines to assist families in caring for their loved one with HIV/AIDS at home were developed.

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