chapter  2
20 Pages

HIV/AIDS, a Long Wave Event: Sundering the Intergenerational


Twenty years or more ago the question of whether or not the HIV/AIDS epidemic was going to have ‘impacts’ was widely disputed. Now we know differently. Those impacts exist, are poorly understood, and may have serious long-term consequences. We can either prepare to confront these some time in the future or, better; try to avoid them by taking action now. Acting now and in the near future to avoid impacts will save lives and suffering in other countries. As well as meeting these altruistic goals, such actions may even be in the long term selfinterest of donor countries. Whether or not these impacts include ‘ security’ effects, what these might be, whom they might affect, how and why are all-important questions to which we have few answers and little evidence on which to base our answers? My colleague at LSEAIDS, Gwyn Prins, recently reviewed some aspects of the HIV/AIDS and security agenda ( Prins 2004). Here I explore the issue of AIDS, politics and ‘ security’ from the perspective of the deep relations between the nature of the pathogen, its social effects and the resultant political processes and what we might possibly say about issues of ‘ security’.