206589 Aligning resources and efforts to combat HIV/AIDS through increased access to safe water and sanitation in sub-Saharan Africa

Monday, November 9, 2009: 5:10 PM

Patricia D. Siplon, PhD , Political Science Department, Saint Michael's College, Colchester, VT
Issues: Lack of access to clean water and sanitation are having devastating consequences for the transmission and impact of HIV/AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa. Research in rural Tanzania suggests the commodification of water has led to risky transactional sex, water-gathering activities that increase women's risk of sexual assault, and serious challenges to home-based care.

Description: Both access to safe water and sanitation and HIV/AIDS treatment are codified as international priorities within the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). MDG 6 (Combat HIV/AIDS, Malaria and Tuberculosis) contains Target 2: achieve, by 2010, universal access to treatment for HIV/AIDS for all who need it, and MDG 7 (Ensure Environmental Sustainability) includes Target 10: to halve, by 2015, the proportion of people without access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation. This paper examines the related problems of HIV/AIDS and water/sanitation scarcity, and responses to these issues.

Lessons learned: Despite recognition by global donors and the US government, these problems have not been addressed with equal vigor, nor in mutually supportive ways. The more robust response of the US and global donors has been to the HIV/AIDS pandemic. This response was pushed in large part by a transnational activist movement that focused much of its effort on treatment-specific goals.

Recommendations: As the donor response moves into its second decade, donors and activists should focus more effort and resources on improving current interventions and finding synergies in programs that can address the pandemic together with the structural issues driving it, including access to water and sanitation.

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe the ways in which water and sanitation scarcity contribute to the spread and negative impact of HIV infection in rural sub-Saharan Africa. 2. Identify the major national and international initiatives contributing to the goals of universal HIV/AIDS treatment access and increasing the numbers of people with access to safe water and sanitation. 3. Identify potential modifications to current approaches that could have synergistic positive impacts on the challenges of both HIV/AIDS and lack of access to water and sanitation.

Keywords: HIV/AIDS, Water

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have a PhD in political science and have conducted research on HIV/AIDS policy in the United States and Tanzania. I have conducted fieldwork in rural Tanzania to examine the link between HIV and water scarcity and have done policy analysis of US and global HIV/AIDS policy resulting in three books (most recently as co-editor with Paul Harris of The Global Politics of AIDS) and multiple articles and presentations.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.

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