Social Protection in the Context of HIV and AIDS

HIV and AIDS are a serious constraint to growth in sub-Saharan Africa and are destroying hard won development gains (AFRODAD, 2007). 33.2 million people are living with HIV and AIDS globally, two-thirds of whom are in sub-Saharan Africa. Over half the adults living with HIV in sub-Saharan Africa are female and in recent years the number of women and girls testing positive for HIV has increased in all regions of the world (UNAIDS, 2007). HIV and AIDS impacts on adults at the peak of their productivity and earning capacity, with 60% of all deaths recorded in sub-Saharan Africa between the 20 to 49 year old age brackets. Although most diseases undermine economic development and usually affect the poor disproportionately, HIV and AIDS is uniquely damaging because it is primarily concentrated among adults in their most economically productive years.