The Silent War in Africa - HIV/AIDS as a Security Threat in Sub-Saharan Africa

University essay from Lunds universitet/Statsvetenskapliga institutionen

Abstract: In 2000 the UN Security Council declared HIV/AIDS a risk to national and international security. No region in the world is as affected by the pandemic as sub-Saharan Africa, which hosts 64% of the world's HIV/AIDS cases. In this thesis we take a close look at the security implications of the HIV/AIDS pandemic in sub-Saharan Africa. Theoretically based on alternative security approaches, such as the Copenhagen school, Human security and Health security, and particularly inspired by the health security works by Andrew Price-Smith, the link between AIDS and security is clarified and categorized through literature review. Thereafter this link is illustrated through a comparative case study of Zimbabwe and Botswana. The results show that HIV/AIDS has serious impacts on security in sub-Saharan Africa at various levels. By lowering life expectancy, increasing infant mortality, giving rise to poverty and a vast amount of orphans, and by weakening economy, state capacity, law-enforcement personnel and armed forces HIV/AIDS constitutes a considerable threat not only to personal and communal, but also to national and international security. Through the case studies it was found that HIV/AIDS seems to constitute a greater threat to states characterized by: low endogenous state capacity; low exogenous inputs; other intervening variables and low or non-existent political will.

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