Cape Town: 2008. 18 p.
The downstream impacts of AIDS on individuals and households are well understood and documented. The economic impacts of AIDS are proportionately greater for poor. The economic impact at higher levels of aggregation (such as on the gross national income (GNI) is less well understood, being inferred from modelling work rather than empirical measurement, but is thought to be important in the long run, particularly in high prevalence countries, such as in southern Africa. Evidence of the upstream effects of poverty and social deprivation on HIV infection is rather mixed. In general, the view that poverty is a principal driving force behind the epidemic is not well supported either at national or at household level, although there is a clear protective role for education. The implication for economic policy and strategies for economic growth is complex and context specific, but it is clear that the countries with high or growing HIV epidemics need to place HIV at the core of their development strategies.
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