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School of Nursing and Midwifery, East Africa


HIV/AIDS scourge remains high in most countries of sub-Saharan Africa such as Nigeria, which is home to about 3.3 million HIV positive individuals and represents the second largest burden of HIV/AIDS care, treatment and demand worldwide after South Africa. Anti-retroviral treatment options though a welcome development, has increased the number of people living with this chronic illness, and most of them depend on family members for physical and emotional support. Traditional gender norms in Nigeria ensure that legitimately, women and girls are the first options for caregiving roles. This mandatory role has in turn imposed psychosocial disruption in the lives of female family members in Calabar, Nigeria. This descriptive study utilized convenient sampling technique, Zarit Burden Interview scale and semistructured questionnaires for data collection (260 respondents), and data analyses were achieved using SPSS16.0. The study showed that a significant (p < .05) proportion of women (91%) were involved in providing care, including children from 10 years and above. Caregivers had minimal social support which increased the burden they experienced. The need for policy that recognizes and supports female caregivers (“silent cornerstone”) to reduce burden and ensure high quality care of people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) in Nigeria is advocated.


This work was published before the author joined Aga Khan University.

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Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

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