Older-Age People Supporting HIV/AIDS Children and Household Relatives on Antiretroviral Treatment, 2009
In Cambodia access to antiretroviral therapy (ART) accelerated rapidly in the past decade and came to restructure in large part the circumstances and experience of those dealing intimately with the AIDS epidemic. Until very recently HIV infected persons living in Cambodia who had contracted opportunistic infections (OI) associated with AIDS were destined to endure debilitating illnesses terminating inexorably in death. Beyond those infected, the epidemic extended to family members including older-age parents who often bore the emotional, economic, and social consequences of intensive care giving and the premature deaths of their children and relatives. Expanded availability of ART in Cambodia drastically reconfigured the prevailing situations of those affected by the disease. With ART the onslaught of AIDS related infections could now be effectively treated and the health of the AIDS patient could be noticeably restored. Meanwhile increased testing for HIV enabled ART treatment to begin before OI became symptomatic and started to take their toll. As persons living with HIV/AIDS (PHLA) experienced improved health on ART, family members including parents similarly benefited as the adverse effects of the disease were mitigated or at least substantially delayed.