The huge increase in HIV/AIDS in southern Africa has disrupted family life and the means of making a living. This has made Oxfam examine its definitions of a ¿household¿ and changed the kind of support it had given people affected by HIV/AIDS. It is shown that there are more than 23 million HIV-positive people living in southern Africa; nearly 70% of global cases in a region which has only 10% of the global population. When chronic illness and death strikes, the composition of a household change dramatically and affects the roles of household members. It is usually the women who have to cope with the increased burden of caring for the sick, and take the greater responsibility of earning money and providing food. Also, girls often take over the roles of their sick mothers and care for other family members and are taken out of school to save money on school expenses so that they can provide care for the sick. In view of this, Oxfam has been working to incorporate a gender analysis and pays more attention to gender roles in both male- and female-headed households.