|Re-Orienting Neo-liberal Development and Mainstreaming HIV/AIDS in sub-Saharan
By Brianna Bowman
From the Author: This paper explores the relationship between development practices and the spread of HIV/AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). The failure of Structural Adjustment Programs, implemented by the World Bank and International Monetary Fund in the 1980s, to foster economic prosperity and stability exacerbated the spread of HIV/AIDS throughout SSA and did little to address the epidemic. In light of such failures, International Financial Institutions (IFIs) are reconsidering their development approaches and reorienting programs to include input from government and civil society. This new focus holds promise as a means of mainstreaming the human right to health and implementing reforms that address HIV/AIDS as a cross-cutting development issue. I chose to explore this topic because I strongly believe that development practices and the protection of human rights can and should be inextricable. Once the linkages between HIV/AIDS, poverty and debt are articulated in national development programs using the human right to health, countries can demand widespread debt relief as a necessary protection of human rights. No social or economic issue exists in isolation, and this paper explores how identifying and prioritizing the social implications of economic reform can lead to more robust and sustainable development programs that protect, rather than jeopardize, human rights.
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