Development Challenges of HIV/AIDS in Small States

Experiences from the Pacific, Southern Africa and the Caribbean

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Development Challenges of HIV/AIDS in Small States provides an up-to-date and comprehensive analysis of the economic impacts of the epidemic in the Pacific, Southern Africa and the Caribbean. The authors examine specific features of these three regions that contribute towards the spread of HIV/AIDS and identify the responses by various local and external stakeholders. What is clear from the research is that small states must see in the epidemic opportunities for modernisation and, with external support, put emphasis on strengthening policy design and implementation in key areas to strengthen the development effort so urgently needed by their populations.



The Economics of HIV/AIDS in the Southern Africa Region

Since the 1990s and into the beginning of the new millennium, dealing with HIV/AIDS and its effects has become a major public policy issue in most African countries, especially in Southern Africa. While the epidemic was previously interpreted as fundamentally a health issue, the impact of HIV/AIDS goes far beyond health because of its widespread human, social and economic effects. The hardest hit geographical region is Africa. According to statistics, of the 33.4 million people who were living with HIV/AIDS at the end of 2008, 24 million or 66 per cent were residents of Africa (UNAIDS, 2009). UNAIDS (2008) notes that sub-Saharan Africa disproportionately leads the share of global HIV: 35 per cent of HIV infections and 38 per cent of AIDS deaths in 2007 occurred in the sub-region. Altogether, 67 per cent of all the people living with HIV/AIDS live in sub-Saharan Africa. The trend in HIV infection shows that median HIV/AIDS prevalence increased from 20.3 per cent in 1997–1998 to 25.7 per cent in 2001–2002. During the same period, prevalence rates declined slightly for East Africa, from 13.7 to 11.4 per cent, and remained stable in West Africa at 4.35 per cent (Shisana and Letlapa, 2004).


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