Access to and Effects of Social Protection on Workers living with HIV and their Households

This report highlights the challenges faced by workers living with HIV and their households in accessing social protection programmes, examines the effects of such programmes on their lives and makes evidence-based recommendations.


The report shows that even though policies do not exclude people living with HIV, they face challenges in accessing the existing social protection services, notably a lack of adequate knowledge about the programmes, complicated procedures for accessing programmes, and stigma and discrimination. With the possible exception of medical services, social protection access for PLHIV and key populations is wanting in the four countries. Data from the studies suggest that a combination of income, livelihood and employment support is needed, in addition to health services, for social protection to have a bigger impact on key HIV populations – and the global literature review supports this point. As well, coordinated efforts involving ministries of labour, employers and the private sector and trade unions, ministries of health and gender, national AIDS programmes, social protection programmes, civil society organizations and PLHIV organizations are needed to address existing barriers and increase the proportion of PLHIV with access to and benefits from social assistance and other forms of social protection.