A new study published in the American Journal of Public Health Research reveals the positive role livelihood projects can play in maintaining and upgrading PLHIV quality of life in Cambodia. The research, undertaken in six Cambodian provinces in 2014, tracked more than 600 participants of KHANA’s village saving and loans, skills training and cash grant programs. The research aimed to establish a link between improved socio-economic conditions and the health and psychological well-being of PLHIV.
The findings reveal that the mean monthly income of participants who attended KHANA’s initiatives for three years or more was on average 13.6% higher than that of the control subjects. This equated to better nutritional outcomes and less food insecurity among the attendees. The children of PLHIV who participated in livelihood programs were more likely to attend school regularly, and the proportion of participants who rated their quality of life as good was significantly higher. Notably, fewer participants reported suffering symptoms of depression and were also less likely to report feelings of guilt associated with being HIV-positive.
This new study illustrates the positive influence income security can have on mental health and lifestyle outcomes for PLHIV. It highlights the importance of a secure livelihood to holistic patient health, and how sustainable initiatives should complement short-term fixes such as assistance packages. In partnership with KHANA, AUA will continue to support PLHIV to access employment opportunities and improve their income security through a range of activities.
The published paper is available to download as a PDF here.