HIV and Development
We address the causes of vulnerability to HIV infection and the impacts of HIV.
HIV has devastating and far-reaching implications for individuals, families, communities and societies. Epidemic diseases are not new, but what sets HIV apart is its unprecedented negative impact on the social and economic development of nations most affected by it. In high-prevalence countries, skilled personnel in public, social, education and health care services are becoming ill and dying, undermining the capacity of services to meet demands that continue to escalate as a consequence of HIV. The pandemic is reducing labour forces and agricultural productivity, thus exacerbating global poverty and vulnerability to HIV infection.
Millions of children in developing countries are without adequate care and support, which places additional pressures on families and communities to care for orphans and children made vulnerable by HIV (OVC). As parents and care-givers become ill or die, children are increasingly shouldering the burden of generating an income, producing food and taking care of family members who are ill. Women and girls bear a large proportion of the burden of AIDS care, both in the formal care sector and informally in communities. This often leads to girls having to leave school, women having diminished opportunities for economic independence, and women living with HIV struggling to meet their own as well as their families' care needs, all of which further entrenches gender inequities.
A human rights approach to HIV encompasses the right to development, where all people are entitled to participate in, contribute to, and enjoy economic, social, cultural and political development. It also supports efforts to address the underlying causes of vulnerability to HIV and its impacts. The Declaration of Commitment on HIV provides explicit commitments to invest in sustainable development in order to alleviate the social and economic impacts of HIV, and calls for multi-sectoral strategies, including:
- developing and accelerating the implementation of national poverty eradication strategies to address the impact of HIV on household income, livelihoods and access to basic social services, with special focus on individuals, families and communities severely affected by the epidemic;
- reviewing the social and economic impact of HIV at all levels of society, especially on women and older people, and particularly on their role as care-givers in families affected by HIV, to address their special needs; and adjusting and adapting economic and social development policies, including social protection policies, to address the impact of HIV/AIDS on economic growth, the provision of essential economic services, labour productivity, government revenues and deficit-creating pressures on public resources.
- Additional principles on HIV and development.
- Resources to help inform your programmes.
- Links to organisations and case studies.