AIDS, vulnerability and social protection

AIDS, vulnerability and social protection

AIDS is a livelihoods crisis, not just a health crisis

This paper, prepared for a UNAIDS workshop on Vulnerability and AIDS, examines the links between HIV, vulnerability and social protection. The paper relates vulnerabilities to and from HIV and AIDS to the emerging social protection agenda and the household, national and global levels. It then sets out a series of received wisdoms about vulnerabilities, HIV and AIDS, and considers their implications for social protection. The authors find that policy responses have consistently under-estimated the extent to which AIDS is a livelihoods crisis, requiring support for household and community livelihood activities and not only a health crisis, requiring programmes for prevention treatment and care.

The authors conclude that HIV and AIDS present new and diverse challenges for formal and informal providers of social protection. They argue that since the social and economic impacts of AIDS vary across contexts and over time, social protection responses need to be identified by people living with HIV and AIDS, tailored to locally relevant priorities, and adjusted as conditions change. They also highlight the need for integrated and comprehensive packages that combine support to affected individuals and affected households with community-based and national initiatives. [adapted from author]