Cover page Communities Facing the HIV/AIDS Challenge: From crisis to opportunities, from community vulnerability to community resilience ISBN/DATE



Authors: Lee-Nah Hsu, Jacques du Guerny and Marissa Marco



Rural households are managing as best they can in a rapidly changing and often threatening world which makes them vulnerable to the risk of HIV infection and ill equipped to cope with the effects of AIDS. Their chances of managing can be improved if they function in a supportive environment. Their immediate environment is provided by the community itself which can form a buffer against outside threats as well as provide opportunities to reduce household vulnerabilities.
Communities, however, are ambivalent and are often destabilized by many of the changes occurring in which case they cannot provide the required supportive environment. There¬fore, in many cases, communities need to build their own resilience if they are to prove effective allies for rural households. Despite the difficulties of such a task, as shown in this paper, it is feasible. Certain conditions have to be met and pitfalls avoided in order to set up processes leading to sustainability and which benefit all households as stakeholders. Such awareness is important for the communities themselves, but also for those providing outside assistance in order to trigger the building of community resilience and sustainability for all households, including in HIV/AIDS prevention and mitigation.
Finally, the paper reviews from a South East Asian perspective some of the lessons to be drawn from the global and African experiences and highlights some of the specificities and challenges of the region.

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July 2002