According to the International Partnership against AIDS in Africa (IPAA ) the epidemic is not simply a health issue, but one that is also of vital importance across a spectrum of issues, including development, security, food production and life expectancy. With the epidemic being a major threat to society, the IPAA contends that AIDS must be incorporated into a wide range of issues such as national sovereignty, respect for the diversity of cultures, and maintenance of respect for human rights and equal access to treatment. Economies tend to react more dramatically to economic restructuring measures, a sudden fuel shortage, or an unexpected change of government, than to long, slow difficulties such as those wrought by AIDS. But there is growing evidence that as HIV prevalence rates rise, both total and growth in national income - gross domestic product, or GDP -fall significantly. African countries where less than 5% of the adult population is infected will experience a modest impact on GDP growth rate. As the HIV prevalence rate rises to 20% or more, GDP growth may decline up to 2% a year.

The HIV epidemic has its origins in African poverty and unless and until poverty is reduced there will be little progress either with reducing transmission of the virus or an enhanced capacity to cope with its socio-economic consequences.



Demographics / charts
Recognition in public sphere