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The Implications of HIV/AIDS for Household Food Security in Africa
The purpose of this paper is to analyse some of the linkages between
HIV/AIDS, gender and household food security in rural Africa. To date, the majority
of extant studies on rural HIV/AIDS have focused on the socio-economic impact of
the epidemic on the family and household economy as a whole, without
distinguishing in detail how men and women are affected and how male/female
morbidity and mortality affect food and livelihood security. The paper puts into sharp
focus some of the effects of HIV/AIDS on rural women as food producers, custodians
of household food security and heads of household. The objective is to help identify
key areas of research, particularly in terms of needs, gaps and priorities so as to
address the HIV/AIDS dimension of the interface between women’s reproductive
health and household food security.
It is argued that the adverse effects of HIV/AIDS morbidity and mortality on
rural households may disrupt the interface between productive and domestic labour.
Rural women, as food producers, custodians of food security and caregivers are at
the center of this interface. The disruption of the domestic-productive labour
interface, coupled with other socio-economic factors, may inflict a shock to the
livelihood system of the household, thus undermining food security. Gender may
play a key role in determining both the impact of HIV/AIDS on household food
security and the ability of a household to cope with it.
© International Aids Economics Network, 2011