Jacques du Guerny, James R. Chamberlain and Lee-Nah Hsu
The sequence of events
leading to the preparation of this paper is an apt illustration of
the method of building blocks used in this Project.
One can consider the Mapping Assessments conducted in several
countries of the region as the first set of blocks. The mapping
exercises studied the socio-economic and cultural vulnerabilities
which could lead to HIV infection emerging along selected important
The second block was the ASEAN Workshop on Population Movement and
HIV Vulnerability held in Chiang Rai in November 1999 which brought
together national authorities and experts to consider the results,
initially focusing on migrants. However, the conjunction of the
assessments, decision-makers and experts led to shifting the focus
from migrants to underlying mobility systems.
Then, bringing together the road improvements and constructions
taking place with the mobility systems, two ideas began to emerge:
i) a development centred early warning system could perhaps be
established, and ii) all these stretches of road joined together
were perhaps more than just a network from the perspective of the
This led to the third block, in the form of the Think Tank
Consultation held in May 2000 in Bangkok which, again, brought
together national AIDS authorities of the Greater Mekong Subregion
(GMS) and experts. The discussion not only endorsed the proposed
Early Warning and Rapid Response System (EWRRS). but presented a
number of the ongoing and planned highway developments.
This information on the developments in land transport demonstrated
that when considering the possible inter-relations between the rapid
socio-economic changes taking place in the GMS. the mobility systems
highlighted in Chiang Rai and the road networks being established,
dynamic hubs could be forming which potentially could connect
different epidemics into a larger pandemic with a possible
Hence, a new building block, in the form of this paper on hubs. This
paper is meant to be a thought provoking paper on work in progress.
It should really be considered in conjunction with the papers
already mentioned, especially the EWRRS one. We would like this
paper to start a discussion on the possible role of hubs in HIV
epidemics, in relation to an EWRRS and. more broadly, in the area of
mobility systems, development and HIV.
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