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A livelihood intervention to improve economic and psychosocial well-being in rural Uganda: Longitudinal pilot study


HIV and poverty are inextricably intertwined in sub-Saharan Africa. Economic and livelihood intervention strategies have been suggested to help mitigate the adverse economic effects of HIV, but few intervention studies have focused specifically on HIV-positive persons. We conducted three pilot studies to assess a livelihood intervention consisting of an initial orientation and loan package of chickens and associated implements to create poultry microenterprises. We enrolled 15 HIV-positive and 22 HIV-negative participants and followed them for up to 18 months. Over the course of follow-up, participants achieved high chicken survival and loan repayment rates. Median monthly income increased, and severe food insecurity declined, although these changes were not statistically significant (P-values ranged from 0.11 to 0.68). In-depth interviews with a purposive sample of three HIV-positive participants identified a constellation of economic and psychosocial benefits, including improved social integration and reduced stigma.

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