HIV/AIDS and the Security Sector in Africa

Throughout history, communicable diseases have devastated armies and weakened the capacity of state institutions to perform core security functions. Today, the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Africa has prompted many of the affected countries to initiate policies aimed at addressing its impact on their armed forces, police, and prisons. HIV/AIDS and the Security Sector in Africa explores the dynamics of how the security sectors of selected African states have responded to the complex and multifaceted challenges of HIV/AIDS.

Current and impending African HIV/AIDS policies address a range of security-related issues:

  • The role of peacekeepers in the spread or control of HIV

  • The dilemma of public health (the need to control HIV)versus human rights (protection against mandatory medical testing) needs

  • The gender dimensions of HIV in the armed forces

  • The impact of HIV on the police and prisons
The chapters in HIV/AIDS and the Security Sector in Africa are written by African practitioners, including commissioned officers who are currently serving in the armed forces, medical officers and nurses working in the military, and African policy and academic experts. While the book does not comprehensively address all aspects of the impact of HIV/AIDS on the security sector, the contributors nonetheless highlight the potentials and limits of existing policies.