HIV is no longer a new or emerging disease in southern Africa. In the era of HIV and AIDS, families and households have continued to form, build, migrate and dissolve. Children born in the 1980s with the risk of mother-to-child HIV transmission have already gone on to start the next generation of families and households. Isolating the impact of HIV and AIDS on families and households is complex given that the epidemic has become part of the direction and force of contemporary demographic, social and economic processes and trends. Cycles of family and household life have occurred in a changing HIV and AIDS public-health environment, one in which HIV treatment access has increased rapidly. As part of an on-going process to assess the relevance and effectiveness of policies and programmes designed to protect and support children affected by HIV and AIDS, it is necessary to update our knowledge about the family and household circumstances in which children live. This paper summarises findings from a review on the “Demographic Evidence of Family and Household Changes in Response to the Effects of HIV/AIDS in Southern Africa: Implications for Efforts to Strengthen Families”. The review examined published literature presenting data from empirical studies, primarily large, cross-sectional or longitudinal population-based or sample surveys. The family or household life-cycle is used as a conceptual and organisational framework. The implications of the demographic evidence are discussed in relation to policy and programme responses to strengthen families and households in the regio
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