AIDS and democracy: what do we know?

Literature review on HIV/AIDS, governance and democracy Nelufule, M. Health Economics & HIV/AIDS Research Division (HEARD), University of Natal, 2004


This paper builds on an earlier literature review which examines the connections between HIV/AIDS, governance and democracy. It was prepared for the Democracy, Governance and HIV/AIDS in Africa Roundtable which took place in Pretoria, South Africa in July 2004. The first section reviews work on the impact of democracy, governance, security and related factors on the spread of HIV/AIDS, and includes topics such as: national government responses, local government, civil society, conflict and instability, and gender issues. The second section reviews work on the impact of HIV/AIDS on democracy, governance and security. It examines a range of topics including: government capacity and legitimacy; democratic culture and elections; human security; human rights and civil society; national, regional and global security and violent conflict; militaries and security; and orphans, crime and instability.


The author concludes that the majority of articles discussed are primarily theoretical or conceptual, and speculate about the potential impact of HIV/AIDS on security and democracy. There is very little research which contains solid evidence to support these predictions. The author draws attention to this fact not to dispute the findings, but to highlight the need for more systematic research in this field. [adapted from author]

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