Worldwide, HIV/AIDS affect the life of the people, especially the people of third world countries, more than war and terrorism. In the sub-Saharan countries, STD and HIV/AIDS cause problems in national security. The study assumes greater significance as the rate of HIV infected people in Sub Saharan Africa is increasing day by day; this has reduced the GDP rate of these regions and accelerated the poverty rate. It has also affected the average life expectancy of people in this region and the result is the rapid increase in the mortality rate. The aim of the study is to identify how wars, violent conflicts, internal struggles and civil wars have affected the political stability, economic development and the social life of the people of Sub Saharan Africa and how these wars and conflicts have given vent to the rapid spread of HIV/AIDS in these regions.. The structure of the study consists of the introduction, a discussion on the concept of security and human security, a discussion of HIV/AIDS in the context of security.
The study throws light on the US view of Security and the threat of HIV/AIDS since the end of the cold war. Chapter IV of the dissertation deals with HIV/AIDS in Africa. It is followed by an elaborate section on HIV/AIDS as a Security threat; it shows how the spread of HIV/AIDS has adversely affected the economy, the military, International Peacekeeping Operations, state stability (falling states), development and society, life expectancy, Orphans and Child Soldiers in War zone Countries. Chapter VI provides the details of HIV/AIDS statistics in Africa and the next chapter shows how the pandemic of HIV/AIDS has posed threat to strategically important states such as US, China, and Russia. The study then addresses the risks and Benefits of considering HIV/AIDS as a National Security Threat and the Chapter IX provides the case study of Zimbabwe and the dissertation ends with the conclusions, findings and recommendations. For the purpose of the study qualitative approach is employed by the researcher and the research seeks to offer some relevant recommendations on the topic under study.
The rapid growth and spread of AIDS/HIV in Sub Saharan Africa has posed a great threat to the Africans as well as the global community. The pandemic has caused alarm and shock to the whole humanity and it has affected the national security of the Sub Saharan Africa. There is no doubt that the internal conflicts, civil wars and the battles between these African nations have accelerated the growth rate of HIV/AIDS. The internal conflicts and civil wars have drastically drawn the nations to economic and political instability and therefore the efforts undertaken by the Sub Saharan African nations to fight HIV/AIDS have not found fruition. The life expectancy at birth for sub Saharan African countries during 1966-2005 (Botzwana-35 years), (zimbabwe-37 years), (South Africa-45 years)-(appendix4), the dreadful disease was reported for the first time in 1959 and, identified among the gay men in U.S.A and Sweden in 1978. In 1980, the first death was reported among HIV/AIDS patients in U.S.A.
The HIV/AIDS affects the national security of U.S.A., and it is considered as a serious threat to its global economy, because it affects the free market democracies abroad. Research among HIV/AIDS patients shows that, it causes gradual decline in life expectancy. Consequently, the African -American Leaders today are raising large amount of funds for further research to develop effective drugs. Moreover, the accelerating trade and travel is favorable for the disease. The government must encourage the cheaper access of lifesaving drugs. The statistics and the growing rate of HIV/AIDS among the sub-Saharan Africans are quite alarming and shocking. The sub-Saharan Africa is badly affected by HIV/AIDS, and it spreads like wild fire.
The countries like Ivory Coast, Ghana, Tanzania, Malawi, Botswana, Zambia, Zimbabwe, and South Africa are affected badly, except Senegal and Uganda. The decline in life expectancy badly affected the social structure of these countries, and ultimately, the economy. The problem faced by the Sub-Saharan Africa is not an isolated one, but it is a threat to the whole humanity. To develop effective drugs, fund must be raised and the effective utilization of the fund must be ensured. One must also keep in mind the fact that prevention is better than cure and as the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) observes “Human security is easier to ensure through early prevention than later intervention” ( Ostergard, p.335). The scope of the study is closely related to the security of the whole human race and to the personal aspect, it nourishes the personal health, choosing the right way of life, morality, wellbeing of the family, and to the extend, the nation. Importance of the study ensures disaster management, development in virology, increase in life expectancy, international co-operation, we feeling, understanding human psychology, hospitality and social concern.
Definition of security
The term security can be defined as the state of being free from danger or injury. The modern norms of security redefines the very term security as it is related to so many other aspects.When it is applied to the security of the nation state, the meaning is changed and it is meant as freedom from danger and fear from internal or external aggression. The concept of security is always connected with the concept of freedom- the freedom of citizens to exercise their rights within the nation and the freedom from external pressures. The level of security determines the growth of the nation as no countries without proper securty can develop itself.
Traditional security and human security
The concept of traditional security gave more importance to the security of the nation rather than the security of the citizens. The cold war marked a shift from national security to human security. The term human security stands for the security needs of individuals and in the broad sense, it can be understood as the individual right that an individual can assure from the state. Globally, Human security is facing threat from various corners and is felt by civilians so differently in Sub Saharan Africa. Human security means that every individual in the nation is provided with the ambient atmosphere to follow one’s ambitions and dreams with complete liberty, free of economic, political or social insecurity.
The traditional notion of security was very much understood in military terms but the concept of human security needs deeper understanding. As the former UN Secretary -General Kofi Annan REMARKS: “Human security can no longer be understood in purely military terms. Rather, it must encompass economic development, social justice, environmental protection, democratization, disarmament, and respect for human rights and the rule of law”. (The Muddled Notion of “Human Security” at the U.N.: A Guide for U.S. Policymakers. by James Jay Carafano, Ph.D., and Janice A. Smith. The Heritage Foundation, 2008. The rapid spread of HIV/AIDS has emphasized the need for human security
Robert L Ostergard’s article entitled Politics in the hot zone: AIDS and national security in Africa (2002) is a seminal work that deals with the issue of AIDS and its impact on the Africans. The author begins his discussion by stating how the very concept of national security was centered on power relations and how studies before the Second World War undermines the sociological concerns connected with the issue of security. He observes that most of the security studies soon after the Second World War were characterized by ‘ethnocentric bias’ and most writers of the period were either Americans or West Europeans. Another remarkable observation made by the author is that the “issues of conflict and the military in Africa have been mostly intra-national, not international” (p.334). He acknowledges the role played by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) which held that “human security is a universal concern” and therefore it should be “people centred” (p. 335).
Placing HIV/AIDS in the context of security
The concept of security is closely related to the modern concept of nation state. Today the nation states face internal and external aggression and are facing threats with regard to their security and integrity. Today the scope of the nation state is becoming low and is facing the threat from various corners. The developed and the developing nations are aware of the problem and the factors that affect the internal security and usually they take measures to withstand these problems. But in the case of under developed countries, the situation is different and they do not possess the required infrastructure to fight against these factors which affect national security. When we consider the case of USA, the scope is wide because the country has enough resources to handle the problem. The intelligence service network is collecting information on the possibilities of problems. The military and the police force are ready to face any problem of internal or external security. When there is a chance for the spread of epidemics, the well equipped system of public health is there to handle the problem. The co-operation from the side of the civilians is a must, and they must be trained to face these sorts of situations.
On the other hand, when one goes through the history of nations in sub Saharan Africa, it is evident that the whole continent is facing the threat of internal and external security problems. Some problems are general and some are specific for the African countries, especially sub Saharan African countries. The main problems that are faced by these countries are: internal aggression, external aggression, terrorism, poverty, economic instability, social unrest, malaria, gender discrimination, side effects of colonization, and HIV/AIDS. The problem of HIV/AIDS infection is the alarming problem and the Sub Saharan Africa is notorious for it. When an epidemic like HIV/AIDS affects a country, the whole population has to endure the consequence.
As it is evident from Appendix 1(Ten Most Common Causes of Mortality and Morbidity in Sub-Saharan Africa), most number of deaths in Sub- Saharan Africa occurs due to HIV/AIDS (20.4%). This rate of death due to this dreadful malady is much higher to that of the other diseases like Malaria (10.1%), lower respiratory infections (9.8%), diarrhoeal diseases (6.5%), measles (4.1%), ischemic heart disease (3.1%), tuberculosis (2.8%) and traffic road accidents (1.8%). These statistical data are very much significant as it convinces one of the dreadful menaces caused by HIV/AIDS to the people of Sub Saharan Africa. The data also makes one aware of the need of health care systems to suit the need of the time and one can very easily predict the destruction of the human race in these regions if the situation goes on like this. The data also prompts one to search for the available statistics on the number of people who are affected by HIV/AIDS in Sub – Saharan Africa.
The USA view of security since the end of the cold war (US view of HIV/AIDS) as a global security threat
The cold war between U.S.A and the former U.S.S.R, redefined the world power concept and the whole world were either with U.S.A, or with U.S.S.R. When the U.S.S.R. transformed into Russia, the whole world underwent a crucial change of security threat. After the cold war, the burning issue was that of the global security and the new generation epidemics are considered so. The infection and spread of HIV/AIDS in the sub Saharan African region is globally acclaimed as a threat to the whole humanity. There have been a lot of global aids raised for the purpose of fighting with AIDS/HIV. The US government has rightly conceived AIDS/HIV to be one of the major threats for the security of the nation and by 2000, it is estimated that the “U.S. assistance to combat AIDS has stayed around $120 million for the past seven years.But officials believe much more is needed to halt the disease and treat those infected”. (Appendix 3) As a result the 2001 national budget request of the nation towards the alleviation of AIDS has mounted up to $ million. (Appendix 3). Laurie Garret (2005) gives a clear picture of the nature of the “three track approach” undertaken by the US Government since 2002: “Track one maintains its traditional foreign aid programs, most of which disperse funds through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) in a bilateral fashion. Track two donates funds to the Global Fund, to be dispersed through its grants mechanism. The largest, track three, known as the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, or PEPFAR, is located inside the State Department, where its mission is defined in both foreign aid and national security terms”. (Laurie Garret (2005), p. 12)
HIV/AIDS in Africa
Robert L Ostergard’s article entitled Politics in the hot zone: AIDS and national security in Africa (2002) provides the alarming statistical data of the aids affected people in sub-Saharan Africa: “More than 24 million people in sub-Saharan Africa are infected with the HIV/AIDS virus as of the end of 1999” (P.339); Robert L Ostergard observes that it was the homosexuals who were more affected with the virus in America and Western Europe whereas in Africa AIDS affected the heterosexuals most. To quote his own words: “The HIV-1 strain of the virus is dominant in the USA and Western Europe, with the primary groups affected being homosexuals and intravenous drug users. The HIV-2 strain of the virus is dominant in Africa, with the primary affected groups being heterosexuals” (p.338). Thus the article is an eye opener as far as the issue of HIV/AIDS in the Sub Saharan Africa is concerned.
Appendix 2 (Estimated Number of People Living with HIV in Sub-Saharan Africa, 1990–2007) is a bar diagram (source: UNAIDS 2007) which shows the details of the estimated number of people who are affected by HIV in sub-Saharan Africa, from 1990 to 2007.In 1990, above 6 million people were affected by HIV/AIDS in the region and in 2007, the rate reached above 22 million. The ten years from 1990 to 2000 show a steady and rapid growth in the rate of the HIV/AIDS affected people and the statistics from 2001 to 2007 offers some sort of hope as the rate of AIDS affected people does not show a rapid increase. The data throws light on the fact that many of the UNAIDS programs have helped to reduce the growth rate of the pandemic. The bar diagram also convinces one that the years between 1991 to 1996 have been the most productive years as far as the spread of HIV/AIDS is concerned. From 1996 onwards there has been a gradual decrease in the rate of HIV/AIDS even though the total number of infected people has increased considerably.
The adult populations as well as the children have succumbed to the malady. Many children have lost one or two of their parents due to the malady and this have increased the rate of orphaned children in these regions. Similarly, the average life expectancy of the people in these regions has been reduced considerably and this has in a way resulted in the overall population proportions. Appendix 3 shows the Percentage of adult population infected with HIV or suffering from AIDS in 2001 and the data shows how African countries form the majority of AIDS carriers. Zimbabwe stands at the top of the list with 25. 9% which is immediately followed Botswana (25.1%), Namibia (19.4), and Swaziland etc.
J. Martin Ramirez (2005) in the journal article Peace and Development in Africa deals with the root causes of under development of the sub Saharan Africa. The whole world considers this area as the ‘capital of HIV/AIDS’, because this area is still underdeveloped and 75% of the population of this area is infected by this dreadful disease. To reduce the transmission of this disease, the government must plan the things that they wish to do in future. The fields of education and healthcare are affected by corruption. Moreover, there are only a few national leaders with willpower, and most of the countries are under despotism.” Foreigners may contribute to corruption in Africa, willingly or unknowingly, but they do not cause it. The root of the problem according to many African politicians is rich western firms offering irresistible inducements to previously blameless African officials. But in reality, it is most often the officials who abuse their power to extort money from blameless citizens” (J. Martin Ramirez (p 51) 2005).The source of the conflict in Africa is the health inequality among the population. The country which produced human power for the whole world once is now under the threat of extinction.
In South Africa, the years in between 1993 and 2000 was the time in which occurred the most rapid increase in HIV infection. At the same time, there was a change in politics also. The people and the leaders concentrated their mind on apartheid and other politically important matters. So the problem of the spread of HIV infection was ignored and the people became more and more infected with HIV virus. “The most rapid increase in South Africa’s HIV prevalence took place between 1993 and 2000, during which time the country was distracted by major political changes. While the attention of the South African people and the world’s media was focused on the country’s transition from apartheid, HIV was rapidly becoming more widespread. Although the results of these political changes were positive, the spread of the virus was not given the attention that it deserved, and the impact of the epidemic was not acknowledged”. (HIV and AIDS in South Africa. AIDS & HIV information from AVERT.org.
Charlotte Watts & Susannah Mayhew (2004) in their Journal article, Reproductive Health Services and Intimate Partner Violence: Shaping a Pragmatic Response in Sub-Saharan Africa based on the domestic violence and sexual violence that women face from men in sub-Saharan Africa. Gender discrimination is high in African society, cultural and social set up in African society allows supremacy of the male over female. The physical assault over the female is associated with the infection of HIV/AIDS. In Sub-Saharan Africa, however, “there has been limited discussion of the potential role of reproductive health workers. Reproductive health service providers in Africa typically fall into two categories antenatal care or midwife staff, who offer pre- and post delivery care; and family planning staff, who provide contraceptives and advice on sexual issues”( Charlotte Watts & Susannah Mayhew 2004, p 207) Scarcity of trained and experienced health service staff is another problem of the Sub Saharan Africa. Moreover, the birth of girl child is considered as a curse upon the family and most of the house wives in Africa are not economically independent. When the death rate of the male population increases, the responsibility of the family is fixes upon the female.
HIV/AIDS as a Security Threat
In Africa, about 25 million people, 70 percent worldwide are HIV- positive, and the disease is spreading more rapid than ever to the other regions of the continent. Studies state that over one half of HIV affected fifteen year old will die of AIDS. “So far the epidemic has hit hardest in Africa where some 25 million People — 70 percent of the cases worldwide — are HIV positive. In some Countries, the infection rate is as high as 35 percent or more of the adult Population. Estimates are that in the absence of effective treatment and Prevention measures, one-half of the 15-year-olds in Southern Africa Will die of AIDS.” (Current Issues Briefing Transcript Plague upon Plague:
Aids & Violent conflict in Africa. United States Institute of Peace. African continent faces the most drastic effect of the infection and it arouses certain conflict among the infected population. The rate of life expectancy in Africa is becoming more and more low, and this affects the G D P, and ultimately, the economic foundation of the country.
In Sub Saharan Africa, the effects of HIV/AIDS can be noticed in its extreme and affected not only the individuals, but also the entire communities. Here, every day, thousands are newly infected, succumbed to death, and millions of children are orphaned. As the UNAIDS Reference Group on HIV and Human Rights observed: “With an estimated 6,800 new infections every day, over 5,700 people dying from AIDS every day, 11.4 million children orphaned due to AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa, and a range of devastating impacts for individuals, families and entire communities, the goal of universal access to HIV prevention, treatment, care and support is a human rights imperative in every respect.”
(Statement on Human Rights & Universal Access to HIV Prevention, Treatment, Care & Support. UNAIDS Reference Group on HIV and Human Rights.
HIV/AIDS as threat to the Economy
When the African nations were struggling to fight HIV/AIDS, the people were struggling to become economically independent. The instability and internal violence in African nations resulted in terrorism. The economic policies without insight and proper planning pushed the continent to internal problems: “A major step toward alleviating poverty is to provide greater economic freedom, because only economic freedom can create the opportunities that lead to greater growth” (Africa: Promoting Economic Developement and Political Stability. By Brett D. Schaefer.
“Dr Carol Lancaster (1999) in his Journal Article, Economic Development and Investment in Sub-Saharan Africa deals with the problems that faced by the economic sector of sub-Saharan Africa. Normally, when the life expectancy rate and human resources of a country faces threat, the whole economy of the country had to suffer. Sub-Saharan Africa faces the same problem. The private investment in Saharan Africa is only in the form of real estate and other fixed assets. Dr Carol Lancaster deals with the problems that Africa faces now.
“In addition, we have all talked about poor governance. I think that this is the key problem in sub-Saharan Africa. This includes the rule of law (or the absence of the rule of law). The final point addresses the political instabilities in the region and what the economists call the “neighborhood effect”. (Dr Carol Lancaster (1999. )P: 679). When the neighboring countries are suffering from internal conflicts such as disease, poverty, war between rival tribes etc, the target country also has to face the same. Moreover, the problems in the neighboring countries affect the economic growth of the countries of this region. When sub Saharan African countries become economically weak, the majority of the population who suffer from HIV/AIDS is affected.
J.M. Spectar,(2002) in his Journal article Patent Necessity: Intellectual Property Dilemmas in the Biotech Domain & Treatment Equity for Developing Countries deals with the problem of patenting, that faced by the under-developed and developing countries, from the developed countries. The biodiversity of the third world countries is rich but there is no scope for research. The whole field of medicine is controlled by some corporate companies and the people of third world countries do not get access to these medical care. The inefficiency and the ignorance of the third world countries is exploited by the developed countries,” The issues of plant genetic resources and the biodiversity regime illustrate the differing North-South postures, preferences and priorities that have often colluded to create an impasse in negotiations on IPR protection and expanded access to affordable resources for developing countries. Major attempts at improved cooperation, including the common heritage of mankind framework and the Biodiversity Convention, became entangled in North-South issues such as sovereign rights and compulsory licensing. J.M. Spectar (p 227) 2002) and the whole benefit goes to the developed countries and there is no proper control over intellectual property right. The chance to develop cheap medicine for the treatment of HIV/AIDS is rare because it reduce the market of the corporate medical tycoons.
For every nation, the social and economic progress is related to the human power. In South Africa, the AIDS epidemic hindered the social and economic growth of the nation. One can trace the dreadful disease among the elite class of the society like teachers. Because of AIDS epidemic, in the schools there are fewer teachers and the percentage of HIV positive teachers in South African schools is 21% : “South Africa’s AIDS epidemic has also had a substantial impact on the country’s overall social and economic progress: Schools have fewer teachers because of the AIDS epidemic. In 2006 it was estimated that 21% of teachers in South Africa were living with HIV”. ”. (HIV and AIDS in South Africa. AIDS & HIV information from AVERT.org. The circulation of HIV limits the healthy social relationship of the individuals in the society and because of this they are unable to fulfill their role in their own family and society. When an individual gets affected with HIV, he/she has to depend upon others. Gradually the habit of dependency leads them to be a burden in the society. In the first stage, the HIV infection is hidden and the individual will be healthy for years, this is known as the incubation period. After years, when the immunity power of the patient is degenerated, then the virus begins to attack.
The internal conflicts in African nations hinder the economic, social, and political growth. The main problems that hinders the growth are; poverty, political instability, armed conflicts and HIV/AIDS. Without regarding these problems, no steps can be taken to attain development. The problem of internal conflict in some African nation is so serious that it resulted in massive displacement of populations. “the number of displaced people owing to the wars that broke out in the DRC since 1997 to 2003 amounts to 3,000,000.”.(War and the HIV/AIDS Epidemic in the Great-Lakes Region of Africa. By Raïs Neza Boneza.
HIV/AIDS as a threat to the Military
The rate of HIV/AIDS infection among the soldiers in the Sub Saharan African nations is really alarming. The soldiers act as the carriers of infection because they move from one place to other and they gets in touch with a large variety of population. Appendix 5 (Estimated percentage of military personnel who are HIV-positive) shows the details of the estimated percentage of military personnel who are HIV-positive. The issue of the military personnel subjecting themselves to immoral life and their subsequent submission to AIDS has caused a lot of alarm to the common public. Very often soldiers act as the greatest carriers of AIDS/ HIV in the Sub Saharan Africa as they move from one place to another and are quite likely to come in touch with a large variety of population. The highest infection rate is in Zimbabwe (80%), above4/5 of the military men are infected with the disease. Next to Zimbabwe is Malawi (75%), then comes Uganda (66%), Congo and Angola (50% each), Botswana (33%), and the lowest rate is in Cameroon (14.7). The high rate of HIV infection in Military in Zimbabwe causes severe threat to the national security of the country. Cameroon is the only country which is able to control the threat of HIV infection.
In Africa the rate of infection is 2-5 times higher than that of civilian population. In 1998, the infection rate of Congolese and Angolan Armed forces were infected at least 50%. The rate of infection in military forces of Botswana is 1/3 of the whole members. The rate of HIV/AIDS infection in South African military is about 40% and in certain military units it is high up to 90%. The high rate of HIV/AIDS infection in the military force reduces the power, discipline, and outcome. When an internal or external conflict occurs, the military is unable to function properly because the majority is suffering from infection. When the officers are infected, the quality of the training will go down and the whole unit had to suffer the consequence of low performance. More over, the people no more consider the military force as the peace keepers of the nation. “HIV/AIDS negatively impacts on the military’s ability by undermining procurement &professionalism of the force; force preparation and discipline, given the specialized nature of the military’s training; hallowing out of middle management; force deployment thus compromising their ability to respond to calls for service; force sustenance; especially with soaring medical expenses” (School Education and HIV Control in Sub-Saharan Africa: from discord to harmony?. By Simon gregson, Heather Waddell and Stephen chandiwana. Journal of International Development. 3 March 2001.
The rate of HIV infection in South African and Angolan military is 40 percent and this creates far reaching consequences in the spread of this dreadful disease because the soldiers had to work in remote areas away from their families and this cause the spread of the disease. The conflict among Africa’s ethnic races sometimes leads to war. These regional wars contribute to the spread of HIV/AIDS, because the war creates thousands of refugees and migrants to the neighboring countries in Africa.
The Special Report on Aids and Violent Conflict in Africa (2001) throws light on the nature and spread of Aids and subsequent violent conflicts in Africa. One of the most striking aspects of Aids in Africa is that it “strikes at the most productive members of society, those 15–45 years old that are critical to the development of the African state and the stability of the African family” (Aids and Violent Conflict in Africa. ). The report also pinpoints how AIDS and HIV has resulted in poverty and the rapid increase of “poverty-stricken children in Africa” who form the majority of orphan population in these countries.
The report also shows that the continued warfare among African nations has added to the acceleration of infectious diseases like AIDS: “‘Warfare is an amplifier of disease, creating ideal conditions for its spread including poverty, famine, destruction of health and other vital infrastructure, large population movements and the break down of family units and thus protective networks for women” (Aids and Violent Conflict in Africa.). It is disheartening to notice that most of the African militants are infected by the disease and the statistics are quite alarming. It is estimated that Zimbabwe has the greatest percentage rate of infection rate among soldiers in Africa ( 80%); Angola has an infection rate of 50%, and Botswana(33%), Cameroon(14.7%), Congo(50%), Malawi(75%), South Africa(40%), and Uganda(66%) too are highly infected.( See Appendix 2). The report also provides some useful recommendations for the alleviation and prevention of this dreadful menace that haunts the Sub Saharan African nations.
The countries of the Great Lakes Region were considered as the core of the epidemic it influenced the socio-economic impact on the populations and this region also faced the war and armed rebellion and the migration of the entire communities. In 2002, a meeting held in New York, hosted by UN High Commissioner for Refugees and the Women’s Commission for Refugee Women and Children, and discussed the effects of war on the spread of disease. The meeting was seeking to address the concerns in light of earlier U.N. Security Council resolutions (including Resolution 1308) on the role of conflict in the spread of the disease ” (War and The HIV/AIDS Epidemic in the Great-Lakes Region of Africa. By Raïs Neza Boneza. AuthorMe.com. The history and the evolution of the infection shows that, more than 60 million people were infected by the virus. The war and internal conflict in African countries contributed a lot to the infection and spread of HIV/AIDS.
The conflict between the races and external conflicts add to the new and dreadful diseases in regions such as Democratic Republic of Congo. It is estimated that in the conflict in DRC in 1998, almost “3.3 million people, mostly women, children and the elderly, are estimated to have died because of the conflict, most from disease and starvation “ (Raïs Neza Boneza ).
Whenever a conflict occur in Africa, the government use the service of the military forces and this cause some bad effects upon the civilians. The presence of the soldiers, the weapons that used, etc, hinder the social activities of the civilians and this leads them to a number of social, political, and health problems. Moreover, all these contribute to the increased HIV infection. When a country is conquered, to show the power upon the defeated is to show the strength upon women and children. Women have to face a lot, that sexual harassment is a way to establish the power and unknowingly, the transmission of HIV/AIDS. As Goyer observes, the HIV prevalence in Africa is affected by “military deployment; the conditions of military service; use of rape, mutilation and torture as weapons of war; the presence of foreign armies; and disruption of normal social activity which could lead to a number of social, political, and health problems, all of which could contribute to increased HIV infection”. (Abstract: HIV and political instability in sub-Saharan Africa. By Goyer KC. AIDS Analysis Africa, 2001 Jun-Jul;12(1):13, 16.
HIV/AIDS as a threat to International Peacekeeping Operation
The growing rate of HIV/AIDS has posed a great threat to the global operations among nations and the Sub Saharan African countries have been looked down by the other nations. This dreadful phenomenon has affected the employment prospectus of the Africans and the multinational companies are reluctant to go ahead with new developmental and business projects in the Sub Saharan Africa due to the threat of HIV/AIDS. The point to consider is that the problem of the African continent is not only its own, but the whole world is under the threat of HIV/AIDS infection.
The soldiers from various countries are working in Africa as the members of the peace keeping force of U N. If some of them happen to be infected with HIV/AIDS, his/her motherland had to suffer. As Raïs Neza Boneza fightly puts it : “Conflict resolution in Africa is not just a matter of national or regional concerns but is also of global interest. As the examples of the spread of the ‘Flu’ epidemic in the early part of the 20th Century and epidemics which occurred in time of war, these have the ability to spread far beyond the confines of areas of conflict in a relatively short time to threaten millions all over the world. The New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) has given conflict resolution in Africa priority as a necessary prerequisite for sustained development in Africa.” (Raïs Neza Boneza) The capacity of the virus to spread helps it to reach every nook and corner of the world.
When the war among the rival groups in Africa occurs, UN or other groups undertake the task of peacekeeping operation. The wide spread of HIV/AIDS hinders the smooth functioning of these operations because the infection is rapid. Red Cross, WHO and other international organisations face the problem because they had to work among the infected soldiers and civilians. The rate of infection among the soldiers in sub Saharan African countries is high and their health is under threat. Moreover, flood and famine, poverty, gender inequality, etc, adds to the wide spread of HIV/AIDS.
HIV/AIDS as a threat to the State stability (failing state)
The rapid growth rate of HIV/AIDS in Sub Saharan Africa has necessitated prompt actions from the part of the political leaderships in these regions. The failure to tackle the issue very often leads to unrest, dissatisfaction and internal struggles in the nation. For example, in 1990s, Nigeria was ruled by military regimes gave little interest in public health or in development. Zimbabwe which was suffering from high density of HIV has been in a downward economic and political spiral for much of the 1990s failed to develop a strong policy against HIV/AIDS. On the other side Kenya was in internal turmoil and was missing the aid of the whole world. The leaders of the nations of Africa, “attended the United Nations General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS) on HIV/AIDS in New York in June 2001 and pledged intensified action against HIV/AIDS across the continent” (Africa’s Political Response to HIV/AIDS. By Thomas Goliber. Population Reference Bureau, 2008.
Earlier, in the age of colonial rule in South Africa, the whole ethnic groups of Africa were cruelly treated by the masters and the system of apartheid, i.e., racial segregation prevailed in South Africa. The people of Africa revolted against this system of racial segregation and the state of Emergency which was declared in 1985, lasted for five years. The colonial powers were against the reconciliation among the various rival groups because if they get mixed, they may revolt against the colonial powers. The Apartheid prohibited mixed-race marriages and sex between ethnic groups, and the aborigines in Africa were categorised and were kept in separate areas. “1980s – In 1985, a State of Emergency was declared in South Africa that would last for five years. This was a result of riots and unrest that had arisen in response to Apartheid, the system of racial segregation that had been in place since the 1950s. Apartheid prohibited mixed-race marriages and sex between different ethnic groups, and categorised separate areas in which different races lived” The segregation did not keep away the African natives from revolting against the colonialism. When they were marginalised to the areas that were confined for, they revolted against the apartheid.
In South Africa, the HIV prevalence rate among women in 1996 was 12.2%, and in 1997, it was increased to 17%. The increased rate of HIV among the pregnant women was because of the lack of political leadership: “The HIV prevalence rate among pregnant women was 17.0%. A national review of South Africa’s AIDS response to the epidemic found that there was a lack of political leadership.” (HIV and AIDS in South Africa. AIDS & HIV information from AVERT.org. The infection among women will lead to the infection among the children. If the public health service is active, the infection can be identified in an earlier stage and remedial measures can be taken. Thus, it can be concluded that HIV/AIDS can lead to political inability in these nations.
HIV/AIDS as a threat to development and Society
HIV/AIDS acts as a great threat to the development of the nation and the society. As a result of the widespread increase of the HIV patients the Sub Saharan African nations have failed to increase their GDP rate. In all these countries, one can notice a clear decrease in the GDP rate and life expectancy rate whereas there is a large amount of loss of human power which results in high mortality rate. Sub Saharan African countries are still underdeveloped and are suffering from internal conflict and poverty. The development of a society is related to its human resources; when the majority of a society is infected with disease, there is no scope for development. There is no doubt that the social and economic conditions of the AIDS affected countries undergo drastic changes and one needs to have a thorough understanding of the socio- economic impacts of AIDS on the Sub Saharan Africa. Ann May’s article, “Social and Economic Impacts of HIV/AIDS in Sub-Saharan Africa, with Specific Reference to Aging” (2003) is a remarkable work that tells how the Sub Saharan Africa’s social life and economic stability are very much in dander due to the rapid spread of AIDS/ HIV.
According to the author, the major factors that affect the socio- economic condition of the Sub Saharan Africa are “migration/mobility, stigma, socio-cultural practices, human behavioural changes, prostitution, the absence or presence of education and awareness interventions (and their extent and quality) undertaken by health, non-governmental and governmental organizations, and the prevalence rate”. (Ann Mary 2003, p. 1). The increase in the number of the affected children and teenagers and the decrease in their life expectancy, the author believes that would result in greater number of aged population with no body to look after and care for. As Ann Mary observes: “A rising concern about aging has developed due to declining fertility and increasing life expectancy, leading to greater proportions of older people in populations. Increased morbidity, mortality, and population loss will be felt as the world population ages faster in the next 50 years, increasing the median age” ( Ann Mary ( 2003) p. 2). The decrease in the GDP rate and the large amount of money spent on the affected citizens has broken the economic stability of these nations.
Sex, Disease, and Society: A Comparative History of Sexually Transmitted Diseases and HIV/AIDS in Asia and the Pacific (1997) provides an investigative study on the cultural, social, economic, social, and political factors of STD, and HIV/AIDS in Asia-Pacific region. The book covers the history of these diseases in all the countries from all sub-regions within the Asia-Pacific region. The author identifies prostitution as a major cause for the circulation of STD and HIV/AIDS: “Poverty created a supply of women for prostitution, although prostitution can also be seen more positively as a means by which women could enter the market economy and gain some economic independence from traditional patriarchal social control” (Milton Lewis, Scott Bamber & Michael Waugh( 1997), p. 3).The reason behind the mass prostitution in Asia-Pacific region is poverty and this results in the transmission of STD and HIV/AIDS throughout the layers of the society. Moreover, prostitution allows women to be economically independent and this is the only positive aspect of prostitution.
Another reason was Industrialization and mass migration from villages to the cities after Second World War. When new cities were not well equipped to accommodate these immigrants and they were forced to be in slums: “Industrialization and massive urban growth could provide neither formal employment nor housing for all immigrants. Many ended up in the informal sector of the economy as street stall owners, hawkers, petty manufacturers, Pedi cab drivers, domestic servants, black marketeers, or prostitutes and in informal housing in slums and squatter settlements”. (Milton Lewis, Scott Bamber & Michael Waugh( 1997), p. 3)
Price-Smith (2002) narrates the far reaching effects of infectious diseases like AIDS. He postulates that infectious diseases destabilize the society and the nation and the ultimate result is infra- state violence: “…infectious disease may in fact contribute to societal destabilization and to chronic low-intensity intra-state violence, and in extreme cases it may accelerate the processes that lead to state failure” (Price-Smith 2002, p. 121). According to him, this violence within the state may “carry grave political consequences, such as coups, the collapse of governance, and planned genocides.”(Price-Smith 2002, p. 124). Thus his work The Health of Nations: Infectious Disease, Environmental Change, and Their Effects on National Security and Development (2002) is a landmark among studies related to infectious diseases and their impacts on the national security and development.
Fourie and Schönteich (2001) identify the break down of social institutions like family and education as the root causes for the moral degradation and subsequent growth rate of infectious diseases like AIDS (Fourie and Schönteich (2001)). According to them, the governments’ policies and remedial measures are very often inefficient and insufficient to meet the needs of the HIV infected citizens and the rest of the common public. These negative attitudes not only create unrest among citizens but it also “contribute to the eruption of violence, not just spontaneously, but in some cases as the result of exploitation by ethnic, religious or national elites to serve their narrow interests” (Fourie and Schönteich (2001)). Talking on the amount of violence which is an off shoot of the sexually transmitted diseases, Stefan Elbe (2003) points out the role of AIDS orphans. According to him, the violence undertaken by such orphans is a result of their inner desperation and in a way it “is part of a larger historical correlation between the outbreak of civil unrest and the presence of a large number of discontented young people.”(Elbe, Stefan (2003), p. 57)
Ben Wodi (2005) in journal article Re-evaluating Socioeconomic Conditions and the Continuing Spread of HIV/AIDS in Sub-Saharan Africa checks the role of socio-economic background of the victims of HIV/AIDS in Sub Saharan Africa. Whenever the individuals and organizations try to hinder the growth of HIV/AIDS in the sub-Saharan Africa, the socio economic background remains major constraint in the effort. The social and cultural background of the ethnic race of Africa is different from that of the Europe and U.S.A. As this disease is transmitted sexually, then why it affect mainly the sub Saharan Africa. “ the focus on the sexual behaviour of sub Saharan Africans would appear to ignore those socioeconomic conditions that produce the epidemic in the first place.
An important question worth addressing is why a disease like HIV/AIDS follows a different epidemiological pattern in Africa compared to western countries. The answer is rooted in the historical, political, economic and of course socio cultural environments” (Ben Wod 2005, p. 1) Related to this fact, gender inequality and male domination in the society leads to sexual exploitation, and finally to sexually transmitted diseases like HIV/AIDS. The economic inequality in the rural and the urban area forced the females t prostitution and to HIV/AIDS infection. When they return to their family, their husbands were infected. In Africa, gender and economic inequality is high and ultimately this leads to the wide spread of sexually transmitted diseases like HIV/AIDS.
The Council on Foreign Relations Report on HIV and National Security published in 2005 clearly states the disastrous impacts of AIDS “not only in terms of human lives lost, but in the devastation of families, clans, civil society, social organizations, business structures, armed forces, and political leadership” ( Laurie Garret 2005, p. 9). The report provides a number of instances where the spread of AIDS have led the people to misery, poverty, economic and political instability. The report recommends “the need to bring greater discipline to troops, coupled with a stronger sense of the moral code of military treatment of civilian populations” (Laurie Garret 2005 P. 10) and postulates that controlling the immoral and unacceptable lives of the soldiers in Africa is the key to the prevention and eradication of the malady increasingly evident” (. Letamo (1993) p. 371)
The sex disease which is transmitted in a society reaches the lowest layer, and ultimately it affects the family. Rapid industrialization creates inequality in the society and here it is focused upon sex diseases. Industrialization resulted in colonization and almost the whole Asia-Pacific Countries were once under the western countries. More and more male workers migrated to the cities and this promoted prostitution.” In the colonial period, the migration of male workers from the villages to the cities, plantations, and mines promoted the growth of prostitution and so the diffusion of STDS”. (Milton Lewis, Scott Bamber & Michael Waugh( 1997), p. 5).Through colonization, HIV/AIDS which was not originated in Asia-Pacific region got wide access to Asia. Globalization facilitated the growth of free trade and the whole world is considered as a single market and the sex disease is not confined to a particular society but to the whole humanity.
Women subordination resulted in gender and economic inequality and many attempts to control the spread of the disease did not reach to the women: “Attempts to control that spread also have been critically undermined by gender inequality. The nineteenth-century system of compulsory treatment of prostitutes, instituted by the colonial state to protect the health of its military forces, was fundamentally flawed by a gender bias”. (Milton Lewis, Scott Bamber & Michael Waugh( 1997), p. 6). The policy of the colonial government was not to prevent the disease but to misuse women to meet the sexual urges of their soldiers. The policy of the colonial government was that of exploitation, not the protection of the colony. Moreover, colonization affected the national security and degraded the social structure of the society. The sex diseases that are transmitted through sexual contact affected the society as a whole. In micro and macro levels, diseases degenerated the physical and mental health of individual and the society.
Marvin J. Cetron & Owen Davies( March 2001) in their Magazine Article Trends Now Changing the World: Technology, the Workplace, Management, and Institutions, attracts the attention of the humanity because it reveals the real picture of HIV/AIDS in Africa. The sub-Saharan African countries are under economic crisis and are looking for the aid from other countries.
Again, the multinational corporation that depends upon the human resource of Africa is under critical condition because in some Sub Saharan African countries, about 90% of the population is affected by AIDS. The alarming rate of growth of the disease hinders the growth of these “Multinational Corporations that rely on indigenous workers may be hindered by the increasing number of AIDS cases in Africa and around the world. Up to 90% of the population in parts of sub-Saharan Africa reportedly tests positive for HIV in some surveys. Thailand is equally stricken, and many other parts of Asia show signs that the AIDS epidemic is spreading among their populations” Marvin J. Cetron & Owen Davies (March 2001) countries. The rate of infant mortality is high and the rate of life expectancy is lower than other countries. Sub Saharan Africa is fighting against these conditions but in the implementation level, it is a failure.
Gender inequality has played vital role in the spread of AIDS/HIV in Sub Saharan Africa. In a male dominated society women have no say in sexual matters and so the women find it difficult to refuse sex with their partners. This is echoed by Kaleeba (1991) : ‘… we live in cultures where men control sex. In these cultures, even if you turn to your mother and return to her beaten and swollen saying you won’t go back to your husband because you refuse to sleep with him, she will tell you to go home, to get out. How can you not have sex when he wants to have sex?” (Kaleeba, 1991, p. 50).
Gender and HIV/AIDS in Sub- Saharan Africa: the cases of Uganda and Malawi (1993) by Rachel Marcus provides a vivid picture of the nature of gender inequality in Sub Saharan Africa and how this has resulted in higher HIV/AIDS rate. He feels that the “HIV/AIDS education campaigns which advocate abstinence as a major prevention strategy may thus be offering women no viable means for self-protection. (Rachel Marcus 1993, P. 10). The author identifies rape and the “male resistance to condom usage” (p. 11) as the twin reasons for AIDS/HIV in the region. This gender inequality is made clear in the following quote: “Male resistance to condom usage lies also in the association of condoms with multiple partners and prostitution. As such, a request to use one can be interpreted as evidence that a woman has acquired HIV or is unfaithful, or that she thinks her male partner is involved in other sexual liaisons. Additionally, as condoms prevent conception as well as HIV infection, they are strongly associated with non-committed relationships, since bearing children often signifies woman’s commitment to a man” (Rachel Marcus 1993, P. 11)
Colonization plays an important role in transmitting sexually transmitted diseases. The high growth rate of HIV/AIDS in African countries is an alarming problem to the developed countries because there is chance for the dreadful disease among the Africans who were forcibly migrated to these countries. Moreover, the problem of sexually transmitted diseases hinders the development of the poor countries in Sub Saharan Africa.
Aids and Violent Conflict: The Indirect Effects of Disease on National Security by Susan Peterson & Stephen M. Shellman is another useful article for the study where the authors try to establish “the link between HIV/AIDS and two aspects of national security, the severity of human rights abuses and civil conflict” (Peterson & Shellman, p. 1). The authors show how the increased HIV/ AIDS rate of a nation can affect its economic, social and political scenarios and how the phenomenon can lead to unrest, discontentment and civil conflict within the nation. Nations with sound economic stability are better equipped to cope up with the great epidemic than their counterparts: “Wealthier, more democratic, and more educated countries are better able to respond to the epidemic, because they provide more universal access to better health care, afford fewer incentives to engage in commercial sex work, provide more extensive HIV/AIDS education, and enjoy greater legitimacy for their policies than poorer, less democratic, and less educated countries” (Peterson & Shellman , p. 9). The economic stability of the nation in turn is affected by the rate of AIDS affected citizens.
Arndt and Lewis (2000) predict that the GDP of South Africa will be 17% lower in 2010 as a result of the HIV/AIDS infected patients. Just as HIV/AIDS has reduced the GDP rate of many African countries, it has also resulted in the depletion of the life expectancy of the people in those countries. For instance, one can consider the expected change in the life expectancy in Botswana and Zimbabwe: “Two African states struggling to cope with the disease are Botswana and Zimbabwe. In these countries life expectancy is expected to fall by as much as 30 years, and as much as one – quarter of the respective populations could die by 2010, according to the U.S. Census Bureau” (Aids and Violent Conflict in Africa. Special Report. United States Institute of Peace. Washington, DC, 2001). As David Gordon (2000) observes, this rapid growth in the mortality rate has resulted in the growing number of “AIDS orphans”; “The increase in mortality effectively strips families of breadwinners, field labour, and parents and is already producing a huge group of “AIDS orphans” (Gordon, David p. 35). The security of families and the educational system are adversely affected by the AIDS era in Africa. The international crisis group found out that almost one-third of teachers in South Africa are HIV positive whereas it is 40% in Zambia, and 70% in Swaziland. (ICG 2001, P. 16). These statistics do have their implications in the educational standards as well as the moral value of the nation
HIV/AIDS as a threat to life expectancy
The increasing drop rate of life expectancy of the sub Saharan African countries is a cause of major concern and no doubt it is an off shoot of poor health care services and increasing rate of HIV/AIDS. Appendix 4: Shows the data of Life Expectancy at Birth for Selected Sub-Saharan African Countries, during 1965–2005. Analysing the given details, one can understand that, highest HIV prevalence in the Sub Saharan Africa is in Botswana, and it also shows that the rate of life expectancy (around 35 years in 2005) is decreasing considerably in the country. Senegal has the highest rate of life expectancy. The three sub Saharan African countries that have the highest life expectancy rate are Madagascar (above 55 in 2005), Senegal (above 55 in 2005), and Mali (near to 50), and the three countries of lowest life expectancy rate are Botswana (around 35 years), Zimbabwe (around 37 years), and South Africa (45 years). This proves that the countries which had higher rate of life expectancy levels (Botswana, South Africa, and Zimbabwe) in 1965 ignored the seriousness of AIDS/ AIDS and in 2005 ended up with lower rate of life expectancy. Again, the countries that faced the lower life expectancy levels in the beginning were able to transform the rate into a higher level. It is thus evident that the countries which tried to control HIV succeeded in their effort to raise the life expectancy rate of its citizens.
It is interesting to note the prediction of the drop rate of life expectancy in some Sub Saharan African regions by 2010.
Here, is a prediction of the percentage of adult population infected with HIV or suffering from AIDS by 2010. Namibia marks the highest change rate (44.5 % of drop rate). The Life expectancy without AIDS in Namibia is 70.1 years whereas it is lowered to 38. 9 years with AIDS. In Zimbabwe the drop rate in the percentage of life expectancy is 44.2% and Botswana with 42. 9%, Swaziland with 41. 3 % and Malawi with 38.7 % follow it. Malawi also marks the lowest rate of life expectancy with AIDS (34.8%) among the African countries and its life expectancy with AIDS also is comparatively lower. In the same way, South Africa possesses the highest rate of life expectancy with AIDS (48%). It has a percentage of 68.2% in life expectancy without AIDS; the drop rate also is comparatively lower as far as South Africa is concerned”. (Appendix 3 ). The highest change in life expectancy goes to Namibia. The highest rate of life expectancy with AIDS is South Africa and Malawi rates the lowest rate of life expectancy with AIDS.
The epidemic has thus blocked the progress in African countries by shortening the life expectancy of the people. Millions of people in African countries are dying young and the country loses the human power and resources in large quantity. After the spread of HIV/AIDS, the average life expectancy in Sub Saharan Africa is 47 years and it could have been 62 without AIDS. More over the infection lays much stress on the health sector of the country. When a member in a family gets infected, the whole family had to suffer and if it is a poor family, it becomes poorer.
In Sub Saharan Africa, the rapid increase of AIDS rate and the highest mortality rate in Botswana has been a great concern for the world nations. The statistical estimate made by UNAIDS is shocking; “one-third of Botswana’s sexually-active population between the ages of 15 and 49 (out of a total population of 1.5 million) are infected with the virus that causes AIDS, the highest rate in the world. About 85 persons are infected with HIV every day and one of every eight infants are infected at birth” (Botswana Struggles to Overcome the Worst AIDS Rate in the World. By By Don Hinrichsen. UNFPA. Zitha Mokomane (2006) in his article entitled “Cohabiting Unions in Sub-Saharan Africa: Explaining Botswana’s Exceptionality” identifies the increasing level of cohabitation as a major threat to the nation’s attempts to prevent the higher rate of AIDS. The Demographic Health Survey conducted by the Botswana Central Statistics Office in 2001 revealed that almost the rate of cohabitation in the country “had increased to 48.1 percent while the male and female had increased to 45.7 and 46.8 percent respectively”. (Zitha Mokomane 2006). Letamo (1993) also believes that the degeneration of moral and ethical values, and the downfall of marriage as a social institution has been the driving forces for the spread of the malady.
Orphans and Child Soldiers in War zone Countries
The Sub Saharan nations face the problem of rehabilitating two sects of children- children who became orphans as their parents were infected with AIDS and children who have been exploited to turn out to be child soldiers in war zone regions. Appendix 3 reveals that almost 9 million children have lost their mothers or both their parents due to AIDS/ HIV, the vast majority of them being in Sub Saharan Africa. The data shows the number of 15 years children for every 10, 000 of the total population who have been orphaned due to HIV/AIDS. Uganda marks the highest number (1, 100), and Zambia has a number of 890 orphans per every 10,000. For, Zimbabwe the number is 700, for Malawi 580, Togo 400 and for Botswana 390.
The problem that Africa faces now is how to handle the orphans who were pushed into the streets because of HIV/AIDS infection and poverty. The orphans are recruited by the terrorists and other extremists and gradually they become a social problem. So as to get rid of this situation, the governments of sub Saharan countries try to rehabilitate them to the society. Many children had to be part of the internal conflicts that were part of the African way of life assumed themselves to be child soldiers. When these young men were sent off to the war front, there they came in contact with hundreds of thousands of other soldiers, allowing the virus to spread, change and mutate and become even more virulent. The frontlines had all the conditions of refugee camps, with hundreds of thousands of young men living in squalid unsanitary, overcrowded camps, ideal areas for the spread of disease. When the soldiers left the frontlines and returned home, they came back carrying more lethal forms of the bug and re-introduced it into the civilian population
HIV/AIDS as a threat to strategically important states such as US, China, Russia
As already pointed out the spread of HIV/AIDS threatens not only the Sub Saharan Africa which is most affected by the pandemic; instead it has far reaching effects all over the world. However, strategically important nations like USA, Chna and Russia have succeeded in bringing the disease under control due to the use of effective drugs to fight HIV and AIDS. Appendix 6 makes a comparison and evaluation of HIV/AIDS mortality rate during 1980-2003,(Global and USA). The graph shows the effectiveness of the drugs that are used for the treatment of HIV/AIDS. Global rate of infection shows that, Africa is most badly infected by HIV/AIDS, next Asia and then USA.
As it is evident from the graph, there is a considerable rate of increase in the rate of HIV/AIDS in Africa and Asia from 1992 to 2003 whereas there is a considerable decrease in the USA rate of HIV/AIDS. This shows that the rate of infection is not low but the rate of mortality can be reduced with the help of effective drugs. The graph assumes greater significance when it comes to the prevention and control of HIV/AIDS. The US model of fighting against the pandemic is a classical example that the nations in the Sub Saharan Africa can introduce and imitate. One of the most disheartening facts in this regard is that most of the drugs and effective medicines that the US introduced to fight against the pandemic is currently not available to the Sub Saharan Africa which needs them badly. It is high time that the international community and the international organizations like the UN take up the challenge to restore human life and protection in the Sub Saharan Africa.
Another strategically important nation with shocking statistical rate regarding HIV/AIDS is Russia. After the cold war the country’s political, social and economic scenario underwent drastic changes and poverty, rise in pre marital and extra marital sex, prostitution and drug use are common in the nation. Russia is regarded as the nation with the fastest growing HIV/AIDS rate and an estimated number of 860, 00 people was suffering from the malady in 2003. Another significant statistics show that “Young people between 15 and 29 years make up some 80% of infected persons”(HIV/AIDS in the Russian Federation. The World Bank Group, 2008. The Russian Federation AIDS Center identified that almost 53.9% of HIV/AIDS in the country is a result of large numbers of injecting drug users sharing needles/syringes. The Russian Government has undertaken a number of remedial measures to tackle this issue. In 1995, the Russian Government adopted the Federal Law on the “Prevention of Spread of the Disease caused by the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)” and another Anti-HIV/AIDS program for the period from 2002-2007. The program focused on the following:-
- Development and enforcement of legal and normative acts necessary for the implementation of the Program;
- Provision of more information on prevention of HIV ;
- Development of a surveillance system;
- Ensuring the safety of medical/surgical procedures, blood and blood products, bodily fluids and tissues;
- Development of services for HIV diagnosis and treatment ;
- Development of human resources for HIV diagnostics, clinical management, care, epidemiology and prevention;
- Social protection of individuals infected by HIV, and their families;
- Social protection of personnel exposed to risk of contracting HIV
(Source: HIV/AIDS in the Russian Federation. The World Bank Group, 2008). All these efforts by the Russian Government will undoubtedly help for the prevention as well as in the provision of efficient health care systems in the nation.
China is another nation that has employed effective measures to tackle the issue of HIV/AIDS. In 2003, there were almost 840,000 AIDS infected people in China and the prompt measures by the Chinese Government has brought down the number to 650, 000 by 2005. In China, “among the estimated 75,000 people living with AIDS, approximately 22,000 were infected through commercial blood and plasma donation and blood transfusion, and approximately 53,000 were infected through injection drug use, sex, and mother-to-child transmission”. (2005 Update on the HIV/AIDS Epidemic and Response in China. Ministry of Health, People’s Republic of China, Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS, and World Health Organization. Thus, the spread of HIV/AIDS have drastically affected these three nations under consideration; however the governments have succeeded in keeping the spreading rate of AIDS under control.
The risks and Benefits of addressing HIV/AIDS as a National Security Threat
The increasing rate of HIV/AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa does have larger implications for the national security as it affects the economic, social, political, cultural and health care systems of the nation. The vast number of literature reviewed convinces one that it is the HIV/AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa that poses the greatest threat to the national security much more than other dreadful diseases and factors like terrorism. The concept of national security underwent drastic changes as the rapid spread of HIV/AIDS has shifted the focus of national security from politics and power relations to social issues ( Ostergard 2002). Human rights abuses and civil conflicts are closely linked with national security ( Peterson & Shellman) and it is obvious that the spread of HIV/ AIDS forms part of human right abuse and in turn results in civil conflicts which ultimately threatens national security.
Similarly HIA/ AIDS affect the economic and social lives of citizens and it results in civil conflicts among citizens and causes political instability in the country (Peterson & Shellerman, Flourie 8 Schonteich (2001), Dr. Carol Lancaster (1999). This sort of political instability can even result in the collapse of governance (Price Smith 2002). The far reaching effects and consequences of the spread of HIV/AIDS in the Sub Saharan Africa are many and varied. It causes considerable changes to the GDP rate and affects the economic growth of the nation (Arndt & Lewis 2000). Higher increase in mortality rate (David Gordon 2000), Ann Mary 2003), and the great number of children who are orphaned (Stefan Elbe 2003, Ann Mary 2003), decrease in the life expectancy level (Ann Mary 2003) adversely affect the national security.
There are a number of factors that add to the high rate of HIV/AIDS in the Sub Saharan Africa- disintegration of families, lack of awareness, poverty, prostitution, colonization, globalization, migration, gender inequality and degradation of moral and cultural values. Poverty and prostitution form two major reasons for the spread of the pandemic (Milton Lewis, Scott Bamber & Michael Waugh 1997, Ann Mary 2003). Colonization (Roger Gocking(1997), George Galloway 2007, Milton Lewis, Scott Bamber & Michael Waugh 1997), migration and globalization(Milton Lewis, Scott Bamber & Michael Waugh 1997) are generally identified as driving factors for the spread of AIDS. Gender inequality plays pivotal role in the increase of HIV/AIDS (Ben Wod 2005, Kaleeba 1991, Charlitte Watts & Susannah Mayhew 2004, Valerie Knobelsdorf 2006 and Rachel Marcus 1993). Thus it is evident that the phenomenon of AIDS/HIV is a great threat to the national security; the alarming statistics points to the need to control factors that accelerate its increasing rate and bring about better desirable results.
The large number of literature reviewed above pinpoints the need to take the spread of HIV/AIDS as the greatest threat to national security. Even though it is a hideous task to tackle the growing rate of HIV/AIDS, the benefits of doing so are many. One cannot think of a peaceful and contented world without bringing the pandemic under human control. The social, economic and cultural development of the African countries is a distant dream without the issue being tackled. It needs comprehensive and effective measures from the global community to deal with the highly infected Sub Saharan Africa under consideration.
Case Study of link between HIV/AIDS and State capacity Zimbabwe Andrew T. Price-Smith
A case study regarding the economic and political collapse of Zimbabwe and its implication on the increasing rate of HIV/AIDS in the nation deserves primary attention in this regard. Andrew T. Price-Smith and John L. Daly (2004) states, “In recent years, the country has been wracked by rising levels of politically motivated violence, elections marred by widespread fraud, an ill-advised military involvement in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), the seizure of farms from white populations without due regard for the law, and violence against supporters of the political opposition.” All these conflicts and the political instability in the nation have declined the GDP rate of the country considerably and has caused higher rate of unemployment and poverty in the nation. Besides, “Zimbabwe exhibits one of the highest levels of HIV/AIDS sero-prevalence in the world, with approximately 34 percent of the adult population now infected with the human immunodeficiency virus” (Andrew T. Price-Smith and John L. Daly (2004). The statistics by UNAIDS, 2002 shows that Zimbabwe is one of the countries hardest hit by the pandemic in sub-Saharan Africa, with an estimated 33.7% (2 million) of the adult population living with AIDS as of end 2001. (UNAIDS, 2002).
Valerie Knobelsdorf (2006) in the Journal Article Zimbabwe’s Magaya Decision Revisited: Women’s Rights and Land Succession in the International Context deals with the social and legal status of women in Zimbabwe, the country which shows high rate in HIV/AIDS infection in sub Saharan Africa. It is interesting to check the status of women because sub Saharan African society is a male dominated one. As an example, Valerie Knobelsdorf cites the example of Shonhiva Magaya case. The case is that ,after the death of Shonhiva Magaya without a legal will the court declared his elder daughter as his heir.But Ms Magaya’s younger half brother claimed heir ship because African Customary law which states that if there is a man who can claim heir ship, a lady cannot be appointed as the heir to her father.” While the examination of regional and international human rights agreements provides important insights into the Magaya court’s obligation to balance fundamental rights and freedoms in its decision, the most important issue to remember is the impact of these norms upon women within Africa”. (Valerie Knobelsdorf (2006)(p 74). When one goes through the laws in Zimbabwe, it can be seen that there is loopholes, ultimately against women. Connecting this fact with involvement of women in nationalistic movement, the gain is less. In some African countries, after independence, women were marginalized and chained in their domestic circle. The high rate of HIV/AIDS among the male population ultimately affects the women in the family.
Having gone through the literature review and analysed various data connected with the issue of HIV/AIDS in Sub Saharan Africa, the research has offered some useful conclusions, most of which have far reaching implications to suggest some possible solutions for the menace. The conclusions and findings of the study are as follows:
- HIV/AIDS is the most vulnerable disease that the human race has ever faced. The African nations in particular and the international community in general need to undertake measures and policies that would help for the prevention and control of HIV/AIDS.
- The research pointed out that the wars, internal conflicts and civil wars that prevailed in the Sub Saharan Africa have intensified the growth rate of HIV and AIDS. These struggles turned these nations to political and economic instability, reducing the GDP rate and increasing the poverty rate and mortality rate in these nations.
- Most of the security studies after the Second World War were done by either Americans or West Europeans. So this created ‘an ethnocentric bias’. The difference in culture is not a concern in literature and the natives of Africa were forcibly restricted to live in walled area called settlements. This resulted in the large scale transmission of STD. Any attempts to prevent AIDS should start from the most affected areas
- The increased rate in HIV/AIDS affects the socio-economic and political scenarios and it leads to unrest, discontentment and civil conflict. When the majority of the total population is affected by STD, the whole country is under threat and the amount used for treatment for the diseases like HIV/AIDS is high. The social life of people is disturbed due to the spread of aids. Family disintegration and the failure of marriage as a social institution have accelerated the growth of the pandemic. Besides, the economic stability of the nation is shattered and people turn out to be poor because of the large amount of money spent on the health care needs of the infected population. Moreover, the loss of human resources and loss of life also add to the social and economic turmoil. The sub Saharan African social life and economic stability is in danger and it cause wide spread transmission of HIV/AIDS. The conflict between ethnic races, male domination, and gender discrimination makes the situation more badly than ever.
- HIV/AIDS resulted in the reduction of GDP of many African countries, especially the sub Saharan Africa. This is the result of under employment, poverty, malnutrition etc., and the economy of the country is badly affected. This reduction in the GDP rate has affected all the remedial measures for the rehabilitation as well as the health care needs of the affected population. The decrease in GDP and large amount of money spent for the treatment resulted in inflation. The poor countries feel helpless that they are unable to develop effective drugs for the treatment of HIV/AIDS.
- The continuous rivalry among the countries of Africa added to the acceleration of the diseases like HIV/AIDS. The rivalry between ethnic races in Africa is an alarming threat on the development of the whole continent. Moreover, at the time of war between rival groups, there is chance for large scale migration. Migration has added to the insecurity of many Africans and they are unable to resist the exploitation and the infection of the virus.
- HIV/AIDS resulted in poverty and the rapid increase of orphans in Africa. Most of the Sub Sahara African children have lost one of their parents or both of them due to HIV/ AIDS and this has generated insecure feelings among such children. No doubt, these children who are thrown to the streets settle there permanently and become public nuisance.
- The increasing rate of prostitution is another reason for the wide spread transmission of HIV/AIDS. Poverty and poor living condition forces them to do so and they become permanent carriers of HIV/AIDS.
- Mass migration from the villages to the cities is another reason for the transmission of HIV/AIDS. The people from the village like to live in a community and they form a permanent slum. These slums act as the incubating area of sex and crime.
- The sexually transmitted diseases ultimately affect the primary institution of the society, i.e, the family. When a woman is forced to be a prostitute by circumstance, she carries the virus and unknowingly is transmitted to her husband and to her children. The degeneration of marriage as a social institution has resulted in polygamy and cohabitation in African states like Botswana.
- Globalization has far reaching effects on the spread of HIV/AIDS. The rapid growth of globalization resulted in free trade and the global market system resulted in globalization of free sex, and ultimately, it facilitated and accelerated the transmission of HIV/AIDS.
- The circulation of HIV/AIDS among the poor people more rapid than any other section of the society. The poor living condition restricts them from further effective treatment.
- Colonization resulted in the growth of sexually transmitted diseases because the soldiers had to satisfy their sexual urge. When a new country is colonized, the defeated society is forced to accept the culture of their masters and this caused tension between cultures. Due to colonization, in Ghana and Lesotho, the customary laws which prevailed for centuries were shattered and new laws were implemented. This resulted in degradation of the morality of the people. The values prevailed in the society for centuries are shattered into thin air.
- Botswana is the Sub Saharan African region that needs special attention and care as it has the greatest number of HIV infected population in it. Besides, in the sub Saharan African region, Botswana is ranged as the country with highest mortality rate. In 1960’s, Botswana was less infected but in 2000 it became the country with highest mortality rate.
- Wide spread transmission among teen-agers and among the old aged pose problems in the family. When teenagers are affected by AIDS, the future of the country is under darkness and when the old people are neglected, the morality of the society is in danger.
- Migration of the infected HIV patients to the other continents resulted in global transmission of HIV/AIDS. The slaves and prisoners who were forcibly migrated to the continent, settled there, and their off springs transmitted STD. In America the problem of the infection among the people from Africa or Afro-Americans is an alarming problem. The whole society is trying to solve the problem. Research is going on and new drugs that stabilize immunity and the drastic problem is that there are millions in Africa who do not undergo medical treatment. The drugs that are developed for the use of Africa must be economical, and then only the poor people can undergo effective treatment.
- The symptoms of HIV are apparent only in the latter stage of the disease. Now STD is common among the Afro-Americans and the government is working hard to reduce the amount of transmission. The disease (or a group of diseases) reduces the power of immunity gradually. Perhaps, the victim may live for years without showing the symptoms of the infection. Great care must be taken because it spreads like an epidemic.
- The nature and spread of HIV/ AIDS need more of scientific study and research. The developed and developing countries face the threat of transmission of STD because the whole world is considered as a single market. Sometimes, the victim does not show any sign of the infection and after years the virus may become active, and death occur due to weight loss. The treatment of HIV/AIDS is a tiresome task and once the infection is happened, the victim becomes conditioned with the situation. Some of the victims become anti-social and they try to transmit the disease as much as possible. Due care must be given to the research program and must turn to herbal remedies.
- HIV/ AIDS affect the most productive population of the Sub Saharan African nations. In sub Saharan African countries, the rate of life expectancy is very low, and in the most productive age of prime youth, people are succumbed to death. The asset of a country is its human resource and when it undergoes certain unwanted change, the whole society is facing the doom. When the most productive years are wasted, the individual become an unwanted asset to the society. When the symptoms of the disease become more and more severe, the individual faces a mental segregation and finally to death.
- The rapid growth of HIV/AIDS has affected the industrial growth of the region. Because of the fear of STD, the private investment in some of the sub Saharan African countries, is only in the form of real estate and other fixed assets. Industrialization leads a country to progress, for example, so many countries which were ruined in the Second World War, but there are some exceptions like Japan and Germany. Both these countries were badly affected by the war but now they are the leading developed countries. The sub Saharan African countries have a lot to learn from these countries.
- The dreadful impacts of the increase in the HIV/AIDS rate of the Sub Saharan Africa are not limited to the domestic circles; instead it has far reaching implications for the neighboring nations and the international community as a whole. When a country suffer from internal conflicts, poverty, etc, other neighboring countries also are forced to suffer the side effects.(special cases: sub Saharan African countries) Here, the co operation between neighboring countries is important and there is chance for conflict.
- The inability to develop efficient drugs and the non-availability of the drugs from other nations has added to the misery of the infected in this region. The third world countries, especially, the sub Saharan African countries face the severe problem of scarcity of drugs. The problems that a third world country face to develop an effective drug for the treatment are: lack of funding(here think about the funding process of W.H.O. &U.N.), scarcity of resources(the forests of the third world countries is the rich source of research materials. Moreover, the ethnic knowledge of the natives of the area is able to track certain valuable medicinal plants which are helpful to increase the immunity of the body) and proper planning.
- Sub Saharan Africa fails to raise sufficient funds for the upliftment of the infected citizens within the region and most of the funds received are spent for the eradication of poverty from the nation. In the third world countries, there is less scope for research and the development of effective drugs. But the situation in the sub Saharan African countries is really worst. When the fund for the development of effective drug is raised, the government uses it to feed the poor and so the problem of the infected people is still alive.
- The benefit of the intellectual property right is accessible, only by the multi-national corporate. Intellectual property right is to save and patent the knowledge. But as usual, the corporate tycoons made use of the chance and almost all sorts’ ethnic knowledge is under the control of these multi national tycoons.
- The socio economic background of Africa puts some restriction on the work of certain world organisation like U N, W H O, and UN D P etc. The people of these countries believe in some old tradition and rituals and they do not like any type of change. Moreover, the people are conditioned by the situation and they willingly accept the situation as they know that there is little hope.
- The customs that prevail in the society enforces the male domination and sexual exploitation of the female. The rate of freedom and mobility that allowed to women in a male dominated society is less than that of the freedom in a democratic society. Moreover, rigid customs enforce the male domination in the society.
- The economic inequality between the rural and urban area leads the poor to prostitution and this ultimately affects the family. Similarly, the physical assault upon the female results in transmission of HIV/AIDS. The women are sexually assaulted either at home or at the working place.
- The root cause of the underdevelopment of the sub Saharan Africa is HIV/AIDS. The whole world considers this area as “the capital of aids”. To attain development, Africa must be able to sweep HIV/AIDS from the continent. Then only the other programs like poverty eradication, Industrialization can be implemented effectively.
- Earlier in South Africa, there was segregation and now the country is independent but the power is transferred from the white elite to the black. After attaining freedom, in some African countries, the native leaders began to behave like despots and they did not show any interest in development of the country.
All these conclusions and findings point to the immediate need of the Sub Saharan African to get sufficient amount of international aid to bring the dreadful disease under their control. For this there should be better economic development, political stability and the African society needs to give more importance to social institutions like family and marriage. There should be comprehensive steps to fight the pandemic from all sides as no single steps would find success in this regard.
The study offers the following recommendations for the issue of HIV/AIDS and the threat it causes to the national security:-
- Special consideration must be given to the sub-Saharan countries like Ivory Coast, Ghana, Tanzania, Malawi, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana and South Africa. The factors that contribute to the spread of HIV/AIDS in these countries are to be identified and effective remedial measures are to be undertaken.
- The case of Botswana AND Zimbabwe should be taken as a special cases and there should be more studies and researches on these nations as they have the highest rate of HIV/AIDS in the Sub Saharan Africa. The social and cultural backgrounds of these nations are to be taken into account for the purpose of the study.
- U.N and its agencies like W H O, U N D P, U N E S C O, F A O, must urgently concentrate their attention upon the sub-Saharan Africa to reduce the rate of HIV/AIDS infection and eradication of poverty from the continent. It is evident from the study that only with economic stability, better living standards for the people and prompt political action the plight of these nations can be improved.
- The co-coordinated utilization of the international aid to the HIV/AIDS affected sub Saharan African countries must be undertaken by U.N. and its other socially committed agencies.
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Appendix 1: Ten Most Common Causes of Mortality and Morbidity in Sub-Saharan Africa
Appendix 2: Estimated Number of People Living with HIV in Sub-Saharan Africa, 1990–2007
Appendix 3: Percentage of adult population infected with HIV or suffering from AIDS. Selected countries
South Africa: 12.9
Central African Rep.: 10.8
Ivory Coast: 10.1
AIDS already has significantly shortened life expectancy and will cut more years off people’s lives by 2010.
Life expectancy without AIDS (years): 70.1
Life expectancy with AIDS (years): 38.9
Change: 44.5% drop
Life expectancy without AIDS (years): 69.5
Life expectancy with AIDS (years): 38.8
Life expectancy without AIDS (years): 66.3
Life expectancy with AIDS (years): 37.8
Life expectancy without AIDS (years): 63.2
Life expectancy with AIDS (years): 37.1
Life expectancy without AIDS (years): 56.8
Life expectancy with AIDS (years): 34.8
Life expectancy without AIDS (years): 60.1
Life expectancy with AIDS (years): 37.8
Life expectancy without AIDS (years): 65.9
Life expectancy with AIDS (years): 44.7
Life expectancy without AIDS (years): 68.2
Life expectancy with AIDS (years): 48.0
Life expectancy without AIDS (years): 60.7
Life expectancy with AIDS (years): 46.1
AIDS has left about 9 million children without their mothers or both parents, the vast majority in sub-Saharan Africa.
Number of 15-year-olds per 10,000 of that age group who have lost their mothers or both parents to AIDS.
Ivory Coast: 380
U.S. assistance to combat AIDS has stayed around $120 million for the past seven years. But officials believe much more is needed to halt the disease and treat those infected.
2001 budget request: $264 million
SOURCE: World Bank, WHO, UNICEF, USAID
Appendix 4: Life Expectancy at Birth for Selected Sub-Saharan African Countries, 1965–2005
Appendix 5: Estimated percentage of military personnel who are HIV-positive
- Some subunits of the South African military, such as those in the Kwazulu-Natal unit, are estimated to be 90% HIV-positive (Heinecken, 2001).
- In 1993 the Zimbabwe government admitted that as much as 70% of its officer corps was HIV-positive (Heinecken, 2001). Sources: Bisseker (1998), Heinecken (2001) and US Census (2000).
Source: Adapted from Politics in the hot zone: AIDS and national security in Africa. By Robert L Ostergard, Jr. Third World Quarterly, Vol 23, No 2, pp 333–350, 2002
Appendix 6: HIV/AIDS Mortality rate during 1980- 2003 (Global & USA)