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This paper may be of particular interest to:  Practicing and Applied Anthropologists     Teachers of Anthropology in Community Colleges     Students
Type: Paper
Paper Title: NOT ALL PAIN IS GAIN: AN EXPLORATION OF THE COSTS AND BENEFITS OF AIDS CARE VOLUNTERING IN AFRICA
Author: OLAGOKE AKINTOLA   
Date/Time: Wed., 1:00 PM
Co-Author(s): OLAGOKE AKINTOLA 
Abstract: In Africa volunteers are increasingly being relied upon to mitigate the AIDS care crisis occasioned by a dearth of public health resources for caring for people living with HIV/AIDS. Volunteers play such a critical role in home-based care that they have been described as the backbone of many programs. The use of volunteers on a wide scale in Africa is based on the premise that volunteers are willing and available to provide their services free of charge, and that volunteerism is consistent with local humanist philosophy of mutual dependence. This notion is in line with the philosophy of community participation promoted by the World Health Organization as a way of strengthening community social capital. However, recent cost analyses show that volunteers are disproportionately burdened by stigma and discrimination, physical, emotional and socio-economic burdens, as well as the risk of infection with HIV. This paper argues that although volunteers may experience rewards in AIDS caregiving, these do not necessarily compensate for the costs associated with caregiving. And that only by mitigating the costs of AIDS care volunteering can home-based care programs become sustainable. The paper makes the case for a strategic review of home-based care policies to maximize the gains of caregiving for volunteers. Given the need to scale up the delivery of antiretroviral therapy to the large numbers of people in need of care across the continent, the paper offers perspectives on how policies and programs could facilitate the accrual of rewards to volunteers thereby reducing the pains of volunteering.

Program Number: 1-0020
Session Title: VOLUNTEERISM IN CRISIS: RIGHTS, RITUAL AND REASON
Session Sponsor: National Association for the Practice of Anthropology
Session Date/Time: Wed., 12:00 PM-1:45 PM
Organizer(s): KENNETH MAES (Brown University) 
Chair(s): ALEXANDER RODLACH (Creighton University)  
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