Demand for health care in HIV/AIDS – affected households in two communities in the Free State province of South Africa

25 February 2011
Publication Type: Working Paper
JEL Code: I11

This paper analyses differences in the choice of health care facility by ill individuals in HIV/AIDS-affected households in the Free State province of South Africa. Secondary education, access to medical aid, and household income are significant determinants of choice, as are severity and type of illness, and type of health care required. Ill persons with HIV/AIDS-related illnesses are significantly more likely to opt for public health care, although the strength of this preference declines as household income increases. Ill persons with severe and in particular severe HIV/AIDS-related illness in turn are significantly more likely to opt for private health care, especially at higher levels of income. Furthermore, health care costs associated with HIV/AIDS-related illness is likely to push HIV/AIDS-affected households deeper into poverty, especially where private care is preferred over public health care. The public health care sector therefore will remain the backbone of the health care system in providing health care to those infected with HIV/AIDS.

Working Paper 008
1 October 2005