The article discusses the human rights associated with caregiving to people with HIV or AIDS, based on empirical findings about a community home-based care programme in Kanye, Botswana. The study was explorative in nature and qualitative in design and used focus group discussions with caregivers and one-on-one interviews with nurses in the programme. The findings indicate that primary caregivers suffer various infringements on their human rights and regularly face dilemmas pertaining to inadequate access to their clients’ medication and treatment, inadequate knowledge of their clients’ sickness, lack of compensation in case of injury during caregiving, gender exploitation, inequality, stigma, and harsh working conditions often coupled with a heavy caseload. Having children leave school to carry out a caregiving role also represents an abuse of human rights. The researcher advocates anti-stigma and gender-empowering education, adequate treatment and medication for clients to facilitate caregiving, the formulation of policy that would allow caregivers information about their clients’ sicknesses, improved caregiving conditions, and the discouragement of minors from leaving school to take on caregiving.
Keywords: community-based care; community-based programmes; community profiles; primary caregivers; social conditions; southern Africa
African Journal of AIDS Research 2010, 9(2): 193–203