The Social Context of HIV/AIDS Policy in Africa
This chapter discusses some of the contextual issues that must be considered in formulating human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)/acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) AIDS policy in Africa. It identifies some emerging issues in the social context of HIV/AIDS policy. HIV/AIDS is seen as the most pressing health problem in the world today because of its capacity to spread very rapidly and its impact on young to middle-aged adults. In most countries of sub-Saharan Africa, it is reported to be the leading cause of death among women ages twenty to forty. Socioeconomic factors affect HIV/AIDS. Society has to create or divert resources to combat or cushion the effects of HIV/AIDS. Fortin establishes a relationship between HIV/AIDS and patterns of development and underdevelopment, and raises serious concerns over the social and economic consequences of losses associated with segments of the population being infected. Formulating an HIV/AIDS policy is a difficult task influenced by misunderstanding, ignorance, fear, and emotions.