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Research Report


Copyright Date: Jun. 27, 2006
Pages: 50
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Table of Contents

  1. (pp. 11-12)

    The meeting followed a series of CCR policy meetings which focused on:

    The Human Security Dimensions of HIV/AIDS: A Brainstorming Workshop (in Cape Town, South Africa, on 13 May 2005);

    Human Security and Africa’s New Leadership to Fight HIV/AIDS (in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, in collaboration with the African Union (AU) on 9 and 10 September 2006);

    AIDS and Society: Building a Community of Practice (with the New York-based Rockefeller Brothers Fund (RBF), in Cape Town, South Africa, on 27 and 28 March 2006); and

    HIV/AIDS and Militaries in Southern Africa (organised with the Namibian Ministry of Defence, the Chair of...

  2. (pp. 13-16)

    The HIV/AIDS epidemic constitutes a “long-wave event” that will play out over the next century. In contrast to other life-threatening illnesses like tuberculosis, yellow fever, malaria and measles, which predominate among the young, the weak and the elderly and produce symptoms within days or weeks, HIV has a lengthy incubation period and is most common among working-age adults in the prime of their lives. The five- to ten-year lag between infection and the appearance of the symptoms of AIDS not only allows the virus to spread undetected through populations, but also means that it may take several years before people...

  3. (pp. 17-20)

    Poverty at the household level, for instance, may have a range of implications, including reduced savings, consumption, and investment in children’s education. Although empirical evidence is limited in this regard, it is often speculated that such effects could have a deleterious effect on tax revenues; business; domestic and foreign investment; levels of human capital; and, ultimately, the macro-economy as a whole. Declining revenues and poorer macro-economic performance (particularly when combined with the loss of workers to AIDS) could, in turn, reduce the capacity of governments, especially in the delivery of basic social services, with implications for human development and, perhaps,...

  4. (pp. 21-23)

    Women are more likely to contract the virus: they are physiologically more exposed to infection, but in many parts of the world – including South Africa – women are also often less educated, mobile and independent, have fewer career opportunities than men and, often, less control over their sexual lives. War and other conflicts also increase the vulnerability of women to HIV/AIDS, by exposing women to generally higher levels of sexual violence.41 Gender-based violence, together with other characteristics of conflict and post-conflict settings such as the movement of refugees and internally displaced people; the loss of livelihoods; family breakdown; the...

  5. (pp. 24-27)

    In December 1999, the US ambassador to the UN, Richard Holbrooke, visited several African countries and was exposed to the impact of the growing AIDS epidemic on the continent. On 10 January 2000, the UN Security Council, for the first time in its history, debated a health issue – HIV/AIDS – as a threat to international peace and security. The meeting was followed by the adoption of UN Resolution 1308 in July 2000, which formalised the securitisation of HIV/AIDS.53 The UN Security Council is a state-centric, and not a “people-centred” body, and is generally concerned with traditional security issues: principally,...

  6. (pp. 28-31)

    Strong, consistent leadership and the early implementation of awareness and prevention campaigns, for instance, have been credited with helping to stem the spread of the virus in countries like Uganda since 1986. Yet, as discussed earlier, the illnesses and deaths of civil servants and political representatives could diminish the reach, quality, responsiveness and resilience of government institutions, thus hampering the ability of governments to respond effectively to HIV/AIDS. The epidemic could also fundamentally change the political landscape. Rising levels of illnesses and deaths could impact negatively on both political parties and local, regional, or national assemblies, and encourage more autocratic...

  7. (pp. 32-33)

    Government institutions and civil society organisations, in particular, need to acknowledge that the pandemic may have potentially significant implications for their staffing and operations, and take steps to manage the impact of HIV/AIDS on infected and affected employees. At the same time, these organisations should strive to mitigate the impact of HIV/AIDS on the communities they serve. This involves mainstreaming HIV/AIDS, or integrating responses to HIV/AIDS into all core functions of these institutions.79

    An effective response thus involves putting in place measures to help prevent HIV-infection among both employees and members of the public. It also involves maintaining the health...

  8. (pp. 34-35)

    The focus in the first 25 years of the epidemic has been on preventing and treating the virus. However, while such measures are extremely important, the indications are that they will only partly address the challenges posed by HIV/AIDS. An adequate HIV/AIDS response will need to be accompanied by long-term strategies for addressing the human and financial costs of HIV/AIDS on development, security and governance.

    The June 2006 Cape Town seminar sought to make a unique contribution to evolving perspectives on the impact of the pandemic on South African society. The policy meeting examined how HIV/AIDS is a human security...