The AIDS epidemic is
perhaps the most destructive force on the planet today. It has
already caused more casualties than all of the armed conflicts in
recent decades. It infects and affects families, communities, and
organizations in every region of the world. Governments and their
militaries are not impervious to its devastation as the HIV epidemic
subverts their national security.
The majority of the AIDS fatalities are among young adults who are
the most productive members of a society; those remaining are often
children and the elderly. These vulnerable populations are then
struggling to survive in the face of the resulting scarcity of
resources. Such socio-economic set-backs undermine the achievements
gained from development efforts to date and are fertile soil for the
seeds of civil or social unrest.
This paper examines both the causes and effects of the rapid spread
of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in South East Asia. It also recommends
possible strategies to avert the HIV threats to national security
through a combined health and development approach.
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