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HIV/AIDS in Africa Initiative

GRCA is funding a research project, the Youth for Youth (Y4Y) Program: Testing a Comprehensive Adolescent Services Model to Reduce HIV/STDs in Western Kenya.

GRCA is funding a research project, the Youth for Youth (Y4Y) Program: Testing a Comprehensive Adolescent Services Model to Reduce HIV/STDs in Western Kenya (see Research Awards).

View Youth for Youth (Y4Y) PowerPoint

In May of 2003, GRCA hosted a conference entitled, "HIV/AIDS and The Next Generation in Africa" to provide a venue for addressing major long term questions about AIDS, development and possibilities for the next twenty five years in Africa. The event brought together practitioners and researchers who are currently working on the developmental impacts of HIV/AIDS. Papers from the conference will be published in a forthcoming edited volume.

See UCLA International Institute article on conference, "AIDS in Africa Devastates Economies and Destabilizes States."

Background

HIV/AIDS is an acknowledged global problem. No race on earth can claim to have been spared. Globally, over 42 million people are living with HIV/AIDS, twenty-nine million of whom are on the African continent. The pandemic has already claimed over three million lives. The magnitude of the impact of the spread of HIV/AIDS specifically represents the extent to which dealing with the pandemic is a crisis for Africa. The HIV/AIDS Initiative of the Globalization Research Center- Africa is an attempt to contribute towards investigating solutions to this problem. HIV/AIDS is a problem with multifaceted dimensions, all of which have global implications. An enumeration of some of these is telling in itself.

Health Issue: The dilemma of confronting a health problem that has no cure is overwhelming. Besides, the demands to cater for the growing numbers of HIV/AIDS cases are stretching health services national budgets in developing countries.

Economic Issue: HIV/AIDS afflicts the most productive members of society. This has implications for national productivity. Farming has been disrupted exacerbating the food insecurity situation in Africa. Teachers and other professionals are lost, undermining the already fragile technical human resource base for Africa. HIV/AIDS undermines national budgets owing to the high costs of dealing with the consequences of the pandemic. Households are impoverished by the high cost of dealing with the health consequences of the pandemic and the limitations on productivity.

Security Issue: Criminals and extortionists have adopted the use of HIV/AIDS as a weapon. The defense departments of poor countries are threatened by the rising prevalence of the pandemic in the military. The military personnel employed in peacekeeping have become an avenue for the spread of the pandemic within and outside national borders.

Human Rights Issue: Stigmatization and discrimination in the work place, at school, in families, and by friends makes it more difficult for those affected by the pandemic. It is not uncommon to learn of people being denied employment, health care and health insurance because of their HIV/AIDS status.

Child Rights Issue: The tragic issue of adult-to-child infection denies children a right to life and right to a full life. The problem of a growing orphan population denies children a tangible childhood. The right to education and the right to information remain a contentious area of debate when put in the context of HIV/AIDS pandemic.

Political Issue: Political apathy and outright denial of the existence of the problem continues to fuel the spread of HIV/AIDS. People affected by HIV/AIDS are being denied entry and immigration to foreign countries.

Edith Mukudi is the coordinator of this project.

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