Authors: René Gommes, Jacques du Guerny, Michael H. Glantz and Lee-Nah Hsu
A joint publication of UNDP, FAO and NCAR
interrelations between climate and HIV/AIDS might seem, at first
glance, far fetched.
But is it really so? One might form a different opinion after
reading this paper. Sceptics might also think that such topics would
have no policy or programmatic relevance. Again, when centred on the
concept of hotspots, in which climatic factors can play an important
role, it begins to be clear that certain aspects of climate are
useful within the framework of an Early Warning Rapid Response
System (EWRRS) for HIV/AIDS. Thus, early warning systems for
HIV/AIDS can produce synergies with other warning systems, for
example in agriculture and food security, which can also be climate
UNDP South East Asia HIV and Development Programme (UNDP-SEAHIV) has
published several papers focusing on agriculture and its importance
in HIV/AIDS epidemics, both in itself and in the context of rural
communities. Following a bad crop, indebted farmers migrate to
access other resources or, worse, can be driven to close their eyes
on what can happen to their children. Climate factors become
important in such a context.
This paper is a first application by FAO's Environment and Natural
Resources Service of the hotspots concept to an issue where
environment and agriculture play a complex role. It fonns a package
with another recent paper, Environment and Agriculture Interactions:
Implications for HIV and other infectious diseases,1 which examines
HIV/AIDS, together with other infectious diseases, within the
immediate physical environment of rural communities and households.
The two papers form building blocks of the knowledge base of the
UNDP-SEAHIV Programme. Furthermore, considering the papers together,
as well as in relation to the concept of the Early Warning Rapid
Response System, opens new possibilities for interventions which can
reinforce and complement the present health efforts and strategies.
This treatment of root causes of HIV vulnerability puts into
question traditional frameworks and challenges those in research -
as well as those in action — to consider in a more holistic
framework HIV/AIDS and other infectious diseases which are related
to changes introduced by development.
A word of caution: this paper is very much work in progress, limited
to exploring some issues, opening doors onto others. Its main
purpose is to encourage readers to join in this investigation of
some of the complexities of HIV/AIDS. It is hoped that it will
constitute the basis for further exploration of the interrelations
between HTV/AIDS and the environment.
Download publication in
• Back • Next •