Thirty two studies of the impact of HIV/AIDS on households conducted over the last decade were reviewed. The direct and indirect costs of HIV/AIDS to households increase with severity of illness and ultimately death. HIV/AIDS morbidity and mortality affect household income and expenditure patterns. Households employ various survival strategies to alleviate loss of labour and income, survive the financial cost and optimise the use of safety networks. Various gaps were found in the literature, which future studies could explore. Household surveys should be multi-disciplinary and longitudinal in nature so that the full impact of HIV/AIDS could be assessed over time.