Rethinking HIV/AIDS in South Africa
Has Response Been Overmedicalized?

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This paper examines the potential impact of HIV/AIDS on different levels of South African society (individual, household, and national) over time. Using differences in demographic projections to guide the analysis, the prospective implications of HIV/AIDS on households, society, economy and nation are discussed and issues that could influence or mitigate those possible impacts are examined. We outline the challenges that South Africa will likely face due to the effects of its AIDS-related excess mortality and conclude that programs delivering a broader variety of services than are currently offered are needed for South Africa to emerge a prosperous, regional power by mid-century. Inadequacies of current HIV/AIDS relief programs are broadly considered and suggestions are offered for improvement. We argue that a fundamental shift in the focus of HIV/AIDS strategies to include consideration of the needs of the survivors of this pandemic, and the world they will live in, is urgently necessary.

This is the third paper in the Working Paper Series on Development Policy.

Nicholas Eberstadt is the Henry Wendt Scholar in Political Economy at AEI. Laura M. Kelley is a senior research scientist at Battelle Memorial Institute.

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