n Journal for Contemporary History - 'Live and let die' - a decade of contestation over HIV / AIDS, human security and gender in South Africa

Volume 29, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 0258-2422
  • E-ISSN: 2415-0509



In an era of global interdependence a narrow realist focus on military threats to the state is no longer appropriate. In this context human or people's security is a promising concept, but it nevertheless co-exists uneasily with national security. Common problems demand common solutions and in that sense the HIV/AIDS (Human Immunodeficiency Virus/Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome) pandemic is the quintessential globalising issue. It is a complex transnational issue rooted in multi-faceted causes and exacerbating factors, spurred on by war, poverty, migration, urbanisation, changes in government policies, and also policies imposed by external organisations (Altman 2003:420). In most parts of the world, but especially in the developing world (sub-Saharan Africa in particular) the disease has rapidly spread to become a major health and humanitarian crisis of global proportions with severe socio-economic, developmental, human rights, ethical and security implications.

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