|The Impact of Voluntary Counselling and Testing: A global review of the benefits and challenges (UNAIDS, 2000, 96 p.)|
|3. Care: Improving access to medical, emotional and social support|
If people with HIV are aware of their status they can make plans for their future and that of their dependants. This may include making will and making decisions about the care of their dependants after they die. Property grabbing occurs in some countries in sub-Saharan Africa. It is the practice of relatives of the deceased seizing his or her property at death. This often results in women and orphans being left destitute following a death. Making a legally binding will may ensure that loved ones and dependants are provided for. In the TASO evaluation, making wills was discussed in 39% of observed counselling sessions, with 51.3% of the people expressing willingness to make wills. However, only 16.8% had made them and 22.3% said there was no point in making a will as they had nothing to pass on. In Zambia, in a review of 55 PLHAs, only 7 had written legal documents relating to their property (Ndawa et al., 1990154).
Planning for dependants
In Zambia, 37% of seropositive men and 35% of seropositive women worried about the future of their dependants following their death. In the same study, 20% of the men and 42% of the women said that they had been able to make plans for their dependantsfuture following VCT.
Other reports have shown that as a result of counselling, HIV seropositive individuals have been able to make plans for their survivors (Ndawa, 1990155; Kaleeba et al., 1997156, TASO 1994157).
In Zambia, 31% of the men and 13% of the women said they had made changes in their work life following VCT, in order to have better financial options for the future. These changes included getting a second job, working overtime and saving.