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Requested Library Item

Library ID 122 added 12/7/10
Title Poverty and HIV/AIDS: Impact, Coping and Mitigation Policy
Author(s) Tony Barnett and Alan Whiteside
Document Date 6/1/2002
Document Type

 This chapter looks at the relation between HIV/AIDS and poverty and tries to
say something about the relation between poverty and HIV/AIDS: a difficult task as there is
little in the way of conclusive or persuasive research. An important finding is that mitigation
of the impact of AIDS is so far rather poorly documented – which is not say that there is not a
multitude of mitigation responses, just that few of them are recorded and most remain at the
communal or household level.
AIDS is a very long wave event. The true death toll cannot be estimated until the full wave
form of the epidemic has been seen. It may be as long as 50 years before we can say that the
world epidemic has peaked and/or begun to decline. If we take into account its social and
economic impacts, in particular HIV/AIDS related impoverishment, then HIV/AIDS impact
related deaths have already reached very large numbers indeed. The wave form of the socioeconomic
impact alters the historical trajectory of some societies. The epidemic is a
development crisis, which deepens poverty and increases inequality at every level, from
household to global. AIDS has reversed progress towards international development goals.
Like sustainability, the idea and language of “coping” has to be questioned in relation to
AIDS and its impact. The policy implications of the chapter are that we need to better
understand the long wave implications of this disease and think about more than “coping”.
The HIV/AIDS epidemic has social roots and needs social as well as medical and technical

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