Skip Navigation

May 30: HIV/AIDS, Development, and the Next Generation in Africa

Globally, over 42 million people are living with HIV/AIDS, 29 million of whom are on the African continent. On May 30, the UCLA Globalization Research Center - Africa will sponsor a day-long public education forum at the UCLA Faculty Center, "HIV/AIDS, Development, and the Next Generation in Africa" to address major questions about the HIV/AIDS pandemic and its implications for development over the next 25 years in Africa.

By Charisma Acey

Globally, over 42 million people are living with HIV/AIDS, 29 million of whom are on the African continent. The magnitude of the HIV/AIDS pandemic in Africa has turned the disease into a generational threat to the future well being of millions of people in a number of countries. As productive members of society succumb to the disease, a whole generation of children throughout the world is losing parents, extended family and other caretakers to AIDS, thereby threatening the whole fabric of society. For more than a decade, various politicians, scientists, scholars and policymakers have attempted to understand this pandemic, to develop strategies for treating the disease, to deal with the economic, social and political impacts, and to devise approaches for preventing the spread of HIV/AIDS.

 

In both scholarly and policy circles debates rage over how to stem the pandemic. Some suggest that the most immediate need is to treat those who are presently afflicted, perhaps with new miracle drugs. Others are concerned with the ethics of the HIV/AIDS crisis. Still others are concerned with understanding the political economy of the disease, or with strategies for prevention of HIV/AIDS now and in the future. Despite increased international attention and financial resources addressing the widespread problem of HIV/AIDS, the full, long term, developmental impact of the pandemic remains under examined.

 

There needs to be more research on the longer term economic and social trends created by HIV/AIDS as well as the policy implications for governments, donor agencies, civil society and academic institutions. This is particularly the case given the present trends in sub-Saharan African countries where infection rates have risen past fifteen to twenty percent among adults. The unprecedented scale of the spread of the disease, particularly in many parts of Africa, as well as the slow onset nature of its impact, has a generational impact. Most responses are naturally addressed to the immediate problem of human suffering, both those who are ill as well as those who are immediately affected by the loss of relatives/providers.

 

Beyond the immediate costs, though, many aspects of life in African countries are being affected for the longer term. On May 30, the UCLA Globalization Research Center - Africa will sponsor a public education forum entitled, "HIV/AIDS, Development, and the Next Generation in Arica," which will run from 9:00 am to 5:00 p.m. at the UCLA Faculty Center Lounge Room. Confirmed speakers from international agencies such as WHO, UNICEF, NGOs, USAID, and the UCLA School of Public Health and the School of Public Policy and Social Research will be in attendance. This event will provide a venue for addressing major long term questions about the HIV/AIDS pandemic and its implications for development over the next twenty five years in Africa. It will bring together practitioners and researchers who are currently working on the developmental impacts of HIV/AIDS. The event will offer to the UCLA community and a wider audience in Southern California, an opportunity to engage the difficult and wide ranging issues surrounding this pandemic.

 

For more information, visit the UCLA Globalization Research Center - Africa at www.globalization-africa.org, or call (310) 267-4054.

 

African Studies Center