This paper reports findings of a qualitative study and draws on the political ecology of health framework to examine the links between housing and health among people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWAs) in Northern Malawi in a wider context in which the epidemic has overburdened the country’s hospitals, thereby transferring the responsibility for care from government to families. The findings suggest that poor housing conditions, rooted in colonial and postcolonial policy failure, may undermine the amount, as well as the quality, of palliative care available to PLWAs. It was also found that the high cost of renting, discrimination, and poor landlord-tenant relationships imposed significant financial and emotional burden on PLWAs, thereby undermining their ability to meet dietary needs, stay healthy, and adhere to treatment. Furthermore, customary norms around property inheritance hampered women’s housing security and their ability to cope with the disease. The paper concludes by making relevant policy recommendations.

Additional Metadata
Keywords Health, HIV/AIDS, Housing, Policy, Wellbeing
Journal Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved
Citation
Mkandawire, P, Arku, G. (Godwin), Atari, O. (Odwa), Madut, K. (Kon), Luginaah, I. (Isaac), & Dixon, J. (Jenna). (2015). “My house is the hospital”: Housing and health and wellbeing among persons living with HIV/AIDS in Northern Malawi. Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved, 26(4), 1246–1264.