HIV/aids and security

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The UN and its associated agencies have been among the most important players in increasing global AIDS awareness. But the intervention of the Security Council has been critical in securitizing HIV/AIDS. Moreover, the claims made by the Security Council have set the agenda for the subsequent debate on HIV/AIDS as a security issue. This article examines these claims—that HIV/AIDS poses a risk to internal stability, national security and peacekeepers, and that conflict is a vector for the spread of the disease. It argues that the evidence is less clear cut, more complex and case sensitive than the original claims suggested. Moreover, the causal links between HIV/AIDS and insecurity appear less robust. It concludes that the case made by the Security Council was somewhat speculative, while the snowballing of subsequent pessimistic thinking led these concerns to a position of orthodoxy that now appears less assured. HIV/AIDS remains a tragedy and a human security issue; whether it is a national security issue is more problematic.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)315-326
JournalInternational Affairs
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2006


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